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3 1 

833 01103 4185 






TO JANUARY 1ST, 1909. 




In presenting to our readers this history of Jerauld County we are 
undertaking a rather large task. There is so little of record and so much 
of legend that it is hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. However, 
we have carefully sifted the legends as received and have selected what 
seemed to be accurate. Of the later history, of course, records disclose the 
facts and that has been less difficult to gather. 

The First Iiiliabitant. 

I lie Second Iiiliabitant. 


Chapter 1. 

The story of the country embraced within the hmits of Jerauld couni^, 
prior to the removal of the Indians to their reservations in 1859, is 
almost legendary. Even the man. for whom was named the range of 
hills that run north and south thru the center of the county, is only 
known to have been a trapper who frequented the lakes and streams in 
this part of the great territory prior to 1863. 

Of him it is related, that he in company with some other trappers 
was engaged in his usual avocation along the Firesteel and Sand Creeks 
at the tim€ of the Indian uprising at New Ulm, Minnesota, in 1863. The 
whole western country was then swarming with hostile bodies of Sioux. 
As these bands were driven westward by the soldiers from ISIinnesota, 
the trappers were caught in the line of retreat taken by the savages. 
Wessington and his companions took refuge in the grove near the big 
spring. For several days the trappers fought off their enemies, but 
provisions and ammunition failing, they attempted to break through and 
escape. One by one they fell, selling their lives as dearly as possible. 
Wessington was the last of the number. He was wounded and captured. 
Taking him back to the grove where he and his friends had made such 
a gallant fight, the Indians tied him to a tree and put him to death by 
torture. The story of his capture and death was told by the Indians. 
Various trees about the spring have been pointed out in later years as 
the spot where the trapper met his death. 

Among the soldiers who followed the Indians in their retreat through 
the hills and camped by the big spring, were Chas. Davis and Richard 
Butler, both in later years, residents of Alpena. 

This was the last of the Indian raids in the country between the Mis- 
souri and James rivers. During the next fifteen years the Sand Creek 
and Firesteel valleys and the Wessington Hills were mainly occupied 
by peaceful Indians and trappers, and horse thieves and wild bufifalo. 

In 1876 two squatters named Hain and Nicholson settled at the foot 
of the hills. Hain laid claim to the northeast quarter of section 13, town- 
ship 107, R. 65, the land upon which the big spring is located. On the 
bank of the little stream that flows from the spring and protected by the 


trees that grew up from the ravine, he built a sod hut and later added 
to it a building made of logs, which for many years stood as a landmark 
of the county. 

Nicholson selected his location about four miles north of Hain, at 
the entrance of a deep gulch afterwards embraced in the farm owned by 
H. J. Wallace. 

These men made no attempt to cultivate the land further than a small 
garden patch. Their means of living was mainly a matter of conjecture. 

In 1874 a scout with Custer's soldiers in the Black Hills washed a 
pan of gravel taken from the bottom of French Creek. The result was 
a find of marvelous richness. Custer sent a dispatch to army headquarters 
announcing the discovery of gold in the hill country. 

This untimely message was unwisely published to the world. Im- 
mediately a stream of excited gold seekers started for the new Eldorado. 
They went by teams, on foot and on horseback, only to find the country 
of gold guarded by troops who stopped the eager prospectors and turned 
them back. 

The disappointed gold seekers returning to their homes told of the 
mighty expanse of fertile prairies that must be crossed before the gold 
country could be entered. The description of the country that had been 
marked upon the maps as the Great American Desert, fired the ambition 
of die young men of the east to obtain homes and try their fortunes 
in farming and stock raising in the upper Missouri valley. 

The craze for gold changed to a craze for land. The government land 
laws permitted every head of a family, or single person, male or female, 
to obtain 480 acres of her most fertile soil on the continent. 

In 1876 Sioux Falls was a town of but few scattered buildings and 
less than five hundred inhabitants. In less than five years a dozen towns 
of a thousand or more people had sprung up in the valleys of the Big 
Sioux and James rivers. 

At no time since the gold fever of '49 took so many people across the 
plains to California, has the nation beheld such a movement from an 
old to a new country. 

Some officials of the Chicago & Northwestern railroad in crossing the 
prairies to lay out a line of transportation to the Black Hills gold region, 
saw the opportunity for developing an empire and at the same time in- 
suring an inexhaustable source of revenue to the railroad that should 
push its lines across these fertile prairies. A report to the directors 
fesulted in an order to extend the system westward. 

The C. M. & St. P. immediately followed the example of the North- 
western and hundreds of miles of railroad were built across a country 
that had never known a settler. 


Immigrants by thousands and tens of thousands followed close after 
the locomotive and began the business of getting land. Some, more ven- 
turesome and hardy than others, pushed on ahead of the roads and took 
land far from the towns or settlements. 

Chapter 2. 

Two years after Levi Hain settled by the big spring three brothers, 
]\Ioses, Peter and Ogden Barrett, came out from. Minnesota and settled 
at the mouth of what is known as Barrett's Gulch. Peter Barrett filed 
on land in section one 107-65 on the 23rd day of May, 1878, while JMoses 
Barrett at the same time made a homestead entry for 160 acres in sec- 
tions II and 12 of the same township. Ogden Barrett had made a timber 
culture entry for a quarter section in section 6 — 107 — 64 and he began 
to make improvements on that date. 

The Barretts were men who enjoyed the wide range and the free 
life of the frontier. Their new homes were over a hundred miles from 
the nearest settlement, while the only means of regular communication 
with the rest of mankind was the Yankton-Ft. Thompson mail line which 
I)assed over the old Ft. Thompson trail every two weeks. A post-office, 
named Wessington, with P. R. Barrett as postmaster was established in 
1878 and was supplied by this route. The lumber that was used in the 
construction of Peter Barrett's claim shanty was brought with teams 
from Beaver Creek, Minnesota. 

The next spring, 1879, a man named W. H. Stearns bought the 
squatters right of Levi Hain to the NE 14 of section 13 — 107 — 65, and 
moved into the log house. Hain moved about three-quarters of a mile 
north and built another log house, which afterwards became the first 
public school house in the territory now embraced within the limits of 
the city of Wessington Springs. In this house Hain lived until he moved 
into Hand county about two years later. 

The next settler in the vicinity of Wessington Springs was John Mc- 
Carter. who filed a homestead entry on the SW of 29 — 107 — 64, two 
miles south of the present city. About the same time a man named 
Strong filed on a claim in section 17- — 107 — 64. In the succeeding fall 
a Mr. Tucker settled in the yicinty of McCarter and Strong. 

In the north part of the county Paddock Steves. Chas. Williams, M. 
J. Thornton and J. A. Palmer settled among the foot hills in 108 — 65. 

' II 

Emergencies arise in the lives of pioneers that call for heroic action. 
No matter how carefully plans are laid, something will be overlooked, or 
some accident happen that brings about the unexpected. This happened 
to M. J.' Thornton in February, 1880. His team was not in condition 
to drive and he was wholly without means of conveyance. In this con- 
dition the supply of flour for the family became exhausted. The nearest 
point at which flour could be obtained was the village of Mitchell, fifty 
miles away. It must be procured and he must get it. The winter had 
been mild and the prairie was free from snow. Bidding his family good 
bye, Thornton set out on foot to bring a sack of the much needed article 
from the distant station. It was a long walk but he arrived at Mitchell 
on the evening of the day he left home. He remained over night and 
the next morning obtained the flour and, carrying it on his shoulder, be- 
gan his long journey to the Wessington Hills. 

It was not hard walking for the ground was frozen and the few 
streams he crossed on the ice. He followed the trail over which the 
mail was carried and had no difficulty until darkness came on. The 
prairie had been overrun by fires and was a great unbroken stretch of 
utter blackness. As night came the sky became cloudy shutting off even 
the faint starlight. The moon would not rise until near morning, and 
Thornton soon found himself trudging on in a darkness so intense that 
the burned prairie upon which he was walking could not be seen. The 
trail he had been following became invisible and he lost it. A light wind 
was blowing from the northwest and trusting that it had not changed 
he walked straight into, it and kept on. There was not a habitation of 
any kind between Mitchell and the Wessington Hills. After walking 
tor what seemed hours he ascended a small elevation and caught a glim- 
mer of a light that appeared to be miles away to the left. He had not 
yet crossed the Firesteel Creek and he knew the light must be a long 
way off. 

He turned his steps in the direction of the light and soon felt him- 
self descending into what he rightly thought to be the bed of the creek. 
Guided by the wind he kept on until about ten o'clock when he reached 
the light which proved to be from the home of John AlcCarter. He 
stayed with the settler until morning and then continued his course north 
along^the foot hills, reaching home, tired but otherwise all right. 

In the spring of 1879 the mail service was changed so as to make 
Wessington the terminal of the line from Yankton, another route begin- 
ning there and going on to Ft. Thompon. The time was altered so as 
to require the trips on both lines to be made twice a week. 

As the mail in those days contained but few papers, and the letters 


were not numerous it was carried from Wessington to Ft. Thompson 
on horseback. 

In the summer of 1879 Chas. WiUiams^, one of the four settlers in 
108 — 65, began carrying the mail from Wessington (Barrett's residence) 
to the Missouri river and back, making the trips according to the new 
schedule. The distance from Wessington to Ft. Thompson was forty- 
five miles and, as there was not a settler between the two stations, the 
trip must be made in one day or the rider would have to pass a night on 
the open prairie. In the warm weather a bivouac under the stars was 
no hardship, but in the winter time the experience was not at all desir- 

A few days after Thornton made his trip to Mitchell for flour, Charles 
Williams started on his return trip from Ft. Thompson, Feb. 26, 1880, 
carrying the few letters and dispatches sent out by the people at the fort. 
The trail was a mere path, traveled by no one but the mail carrier. The 
day was mild and Williams was having a pleasant ride. He had crossed 
Elm Creek and had covered about half the distance to Barrett's place 
when one of those terrible winter storms that occur at rare intervals 
on the prairies west of the great lakes, struck him with scarcely a 
moment's notice. The fine snow filled the air so completely as to be 
almost suffocating. It was mid-day, but in the blinding snow the path 
was as invisible as in the darkest midnight. The trail was soon lost and 
after searching in vain to recover it Williams turned west in the hope 
of being able to reach the thicket of small trees that skirted the banks 
of Elm Creek, which he knew were but a few miles distant. He dis- 
mounted and led the pony, facing the furious wind and plunging through 
the snow drifts that formed with incredible rapidity. All the afternoon 
and all night he led his horse about, searching for the shelter of the 
thickets. The next forenoon he reached the creek and a small grove of 
trees. He gathered some dry twigs and attempted to make a fire. The 
few matches he found in his pocket were damp and one by one he saw 
them fizzle and die. Then he lost hope. The storm continued with all 
its fury and dropping the bridle rein he sat down to what he believed 
would be his last rest. How long he sat there he did not know, but 
was finally aroused by his horse tipping him over while trying to free 
its nose from icicles. Williams then got upon his feet and began wan- 
dering along the creek bed to keep alive until the storm should cease. 
Along the creek bottom he was protected somewhat from the fury of the 
wind, but unfortunately he fell into a pool of water that had not been 
frozen. He held up his feet and poured the water from his boots as 
much as possible and continued his combat with the storm. So for sixty 
hours the contest went on. At last the storm abated, the sun came out 


Levi Main's Log House. 

The Big Spring, zvhere Wessington ivas burned by the Indians. 


and although the weather was 30 degrees below zero he made his w-ay, 
now walking, now crawling, now rolling over and over across the deep 
gnlleys filled with snow, to keep from sinking to a depth from which he 
could not get out, he finally reached an Indian camp, from w^hich he was 
taken to the fort. His feet were so badly frozen that both were am- 
putated. Williams became a traveling peddler, wandering over most 
of the United States. 

Chapter 3. 

The spring of 1880 found the little band of settlers at the foot of the 
hills all in good health. They were somewhat curious as to the move- 
ments of strange men, who mysteriously came, were seen about the hills 
for a few days and then as mysteriously disappeared. There were 
rumours of the existence of an organization of horse thieves and cattle 
rustlers that extended from below Sioux City to far up the Alissouri 
river, with a station somewhere in the hills. It was hinted that a depot 
or stable existed in the Nicholson gulch, but if so it was so w^ell hidden 
that none of the settlers chanced to find it. So far no one had been 
disturbed in their possessions and the settlers were content to let the 
mysteries of the hills remain unsolved. 

The late snow melted and the warm spring rains started the vegeta- 
tion and the prairies that had been black from the fires that had overrun 
them, began to take on the brightest green, that extended unbroken as 
fas as the eye could reach. From the high points of the hills a person 
with a good field glass could get a view of the great plain from Huron 
to Mitchell without seeing a human habitation, excepting the few shanties 
close to the range of hills. 

The showers continued until the latter part of May and then ceased. 
By the middle of June the grass was evidently needing rain. By the 
first of July the prairie was taking on a dead-grass color and the vegeta- 
tion was shrinking and dying. One day in the fore part of July, when a 
strong north wind was blowing, a fire was started among the hills away 
to the north. .\s it advanced the stretch of flame extended east and 
west. The wind increased as the fire moved forward. With no streams 
nor lakes, nor broken prairie to hinder its progress a mighty billow of 
flame swept past the little settlement leaving only blackness where the 
beautiful green had been but a few weeks before. 

None of the settlers lost anything by the fire, except the grazing for 

Mr. and Mrs. Bromzvell Horslev. George Wallace. Daniel Knit. 


their animals. In the ravines among the hills the grass sprang up again 
in a short time, and although the cattle and horses were on short rations 
for a day or two they soon were able to obtain abundance. 

Some rain came after the fire and by the middle of August the settlers 
could go into the draws and put up sufficient hay to last them through 
the winter. 

During the summer of 1880 a number of prospective settlers visited 
the country in the vicinity of the springs and along the foot hills. 

W. N. Hill came out from Minnesota and put up a few stacks of hay 
and was followed by Hudson Horsly and his brother Bromwell. The 
latter stayed, but Hill went back to spend the winter. C. M. Chery came 
in the fall and took up his residence on the NE of 20 in 108 — 65, though 
he spent the winter with P. R. Barrett. 

Andrew Solberg filed on the NW of 14 'in 107 — 64, and his son, Ole 
C. Solberg took a pre-emption and tree claim in section one of 106 — 64, 
where he lived during the winter. This was the first settlement in what 
is now Viola township. 

During the winter of 1880 Mr. Stearns being away, Andrew J. Sol- 
berg lived in the log house near the big spring. 

Among the people who visited the hills in the fall of 1880 were J. 
W. Thomas, Rev. A. B. Smart and D. W. Shryock, who selected land. 

Though far removed as the settlers by the hills were from the 
towns and villages, yet they were not wholly deprived of the comforts of 
civilization. On the 9th day of May, 1880, Rev. Chapin, a Presbyterian 
missionary, held religious services at the residence of Peter Barrett and 
preached the first sermon ever addressed to an audience in the limits of 
the county. After the church services were concluded a Sunday school 
was organized and became a regular feature of Sabbath observance 
through the summer and fall until October, when, because of the severity 
of the weather and the scattered condition of the settlement, it was dis- 
continued for the winter. 

During the fall several unaccountable things occurred to annoy the 
settlers. A few animals mysteriously disappeared and no traces of them 
could be found. The homes were too widely scattered and too few in 
number to render available and concerted action. They had their suspi- 
cions, but could prove nothing and the law and courts were too far away 
to afiford them any relief even though the evidence could have been 
produced. They were attached to Hanson county for judicial purposes 
and there were no magistrates or police officers nearer than Mitchell. 
They suffered their losses as best they could, making no complaint except 
to each other. The houses of Strong, McCarter and Tucker were all 


burned while the owners were away and under circumstances that made 
it impossible for the fires to have been accidental. 

Strong and Tucker abandoned their land and went away, but Mc- 
Carter built another residence and prepared to stay through the winter. 
A man named Stephen Smith had settled near the Springs, and one 
morning a fine colt he had brought with him was missing and never re- 

In 1 08 — 65 the shanties of Paddock Steves and J. A. Palmer were 
broken open and robbed while the proprietors were away from home for 
a night. Palmer's shanty was torn down and the boards scattered about 
over the prairie. 

Hudson Horsley had a fat cow among his animals that would have 
afforded a good supply of meat for his family during the winter. Shortly 
after the winter set in the cow was missing and was never heard of after. 
One night a span of horses disappeared from P. R. Barrett's stable and 
all search for them proved fruitless. 

The mysterious strangers continued to come and go, but who and 
what they were, or w-hat was their mission was only a matter of surmise. 

Joe Black, a young man who had come out with Hudson Horsley, 
took the job of carrying the mail between Wessington (Barrett's place) 
and Mitchell, and made the trips without molestation two times each 

The winter of 1880 — 81 was one of exceptional severity, not only on 
the plains, but throughout all of the middle west. Snow began to fall in 
October and continued on the ground, with an occasional light fall, until 
in February, when a heavy snow fall commenced that lasted a week with- 
out interruption. When at last the storm ceased and the sun came out 
the snow was five feet deep on the level. 

During the severe weather the settlers were annoyed but little by the 
desperadoes. The timber in the gulches afforded plenty of fuel, so there 
was no occasion to make long trips away from home. The deep snow- 
that kept the settlers at home, also prevented the horse thieves and rust- 
lers from moving about without leaving a trail that could be easily fol- 
lowed. So the winter passed quietly at the homes by the hills, th»^ 
greatest hardship being the loneliness of their isolated locations. 


Chapter 4. 

With the year 1881 began the immigration to Dakota Territory that 
culminated in the mighty rush two years later. Some who had been 
here in 1880 prospecting, came back in 1881 with other prospectors, who 
"filed" and wrote, or carried back to their friends such favorable reports 
that more came. The melting of the deep snows filled the draws and 
lake beds that were dry the previous year, full to overflowing. The 
spring rains were heavy and frequent, and were followed by abundance 
of moisture throughout the year. The "sod" crops that were planted 
grew prodigiously. All who came were greatly pleased with Uncle 
Sam's farms that he was giving away to all who would take. 

With the return of warm weather Mr. Solberg went back to his 
claim on section 14. Solberg's shanty was a decidedly primitive dwelling. 
It consisted of four short stakes driven into the ground, one at each 
corner of the structure, and a tall one in the center. Brush, brought 
from a gulch in the hils, was stood up about the center stake leaving a 
small room underneath in which one could stay at night comfortably in 
warm weather, but the extreme rigor of the winter of 1880 — 81 had 
rendered it uninhabitable. Mr. Solberg then took up his abode in the 
log cabin by the big spring. With the return of warm weather, however, 
he was able to again take up his residence on his government land. 

Mr. Stearns on the 30th of April, 1881, made proof and obtained his 
final receipt. That was probably the first "proof" made in what is now 
Jerauld county. The receipt was filed for record in the office of the 
register of deeds of Hanson county. On the 3rd day of June, 1881, 
Mr. Stearns sold the land to Dr. C. S. Burr, of Mitchell, and that deed, 
also, was recorded in Hanson county. The consideration for this transfer 
was $1,000. 

During the summer of 188 1 several men came to Aurora county and 
took up their abode north of township 105 who, though they did not 
become men of great w^ealth, yet had much to do with the development 
in may ways of the county subsequently created. 

In May of that year two men left the train at Mitchell and tried to 
get a ride on to the end of the road at Mt. Vernon. The passenger train 
was going no further than Mitchell and they were finally offered a ride 
by the section boss if they would help "pump" the hand car. 

They threw their grips on this western "limited" and began to liter- 
ally work their passage. Arrived at Mt. Vernon they took their grips 
from the hand car and set out on foot for the Wessington Hills, the out- 
line of which could be seen lying low on the horizon in the northwest. 

One of these men was Almona B. Smart, afterward a first com- 


missioner of two counties ; the other, Alden Brown, subsequently the 
first county superintendent of Aurora county. 

The next day after leaving the hand car at Mt. Vernon they reached 
the hills where Mr. Smart had taken some land in the east half of section 
12 — 107 — 65, on the occasion of his visit in the fall before and Mr. 
Brown made a settlement on the NW quarter of section 6 — 107 — 64. 

C. W. Hill and his son, Wm. N. Hill, came on from Minnesota and 
settled in 108 — 65, C. W. Hill in June buying a relinquishment from 
Paddock Steves to the latter's claim in section 22. George Wallace pur- 
chosed the squatter's right of Nicholson and settled on the east half of 
section 17 in 108 — 65, while Russells and Eagles settled across the line 
in 108 — 64. 

C. D. Brown moved his family on the NE of section 31 — -108 — 64, 
being the first family domiciled in that township. 

A rfiinister named J. W. P. Jordan, father-in-law of A. B. Smart, 
settled on a claim a mile east of the big spring in May, 1881, and was 
soon followed by J. W. Thomas and D. W. Shryock, who settled on the 
land selected by them the preceding autumn. About the same time C. 
W. P. Osgood, Hiram Blowers and R. S. Bateman and his son, William, 
joined the settlers near the hills. 

On the 14th day of May of that year, John Grant made filing for a 
half section of land, the east half of 19, in town, 107 — 64, and was fol- 
lowed a few months later by his brother, Newell Grant. The two Grants 
became residents immediately after making entry at the Mitchell land 

About the same time Charles Walters settled on the NE. of the NW. 
of sec. 22 in 106 — 64, and the next year became a permanent resident. 

On Sept. 7 L. G. Wilson established his residence on the SW quarter 
of 25 in 106 — 64 and the next day made a homestead entry for the SE 
quarter of the same section. 

One day in November, 1881, another man arrived at the settlement 
about the Springs, who afterward became prominent in the affairs of the 
county, spent the night with A. B. Smart and the next morning before 
■ sunrise climbed to the top of the hills and took a long earnest look over 
the James River Valley, glistening w^hite in the autumnal frost. He 
was captivated by the beauty of the landscape. Except the few dwellings 
near the hills not a thing could be seen as far as the eye could reach 
denoting the presence of a human being. The white carpet, the blue sky. 
the rising sun and the invigorating air fixed in his mind the determina- 
tion to make these prairies his future home. That day he drove to 
Mitchell and on the 6th day of November, 1881, P. H. Shultz made the 
6th entry for public land in township 106 — 64. 


All the settlements mentioned thus far were in what was then 
Aurora county, which, for all pvirposes of county government was de- 
pendent upon Hanson county officials. An earnest effort was then on 
foot in certain quarters to wipe Davison county off the map and attach 
the western part of it to Aurora county. Davison county had been or- 
ganized and was provided with a full set of officials. 

The settlers in Aurora county, therefore, were in the anomalous po- 
sition of having a fully organized county between them and the official 
home of the courts and constabulary to which they must appeal for 
legal protection. All deeds and mortgages must be recorded in Hanson 
county, books and court mandates had to come from Hanson county 

Under such circumstances the political and judicial organization of 
Aurora county was a necessity. 

The law of the territory at that time provided that when any unor- 
ganized county should contain fifty voters it should be the duty of the 
acting governor to issue a commission to three of the residents there 
of whom should by virtue of such appointments, be authorized to do all 
things necessary to be done to construct a county government in ac- 
cordance with the laws of the territory. 

In the summer of 1881 a commission was given by the governor of 
the territory to Mr. A. B. Smart of township 107 — 65, and two other 
residents of the county of Aurora and they proceeded to appoint the 
other county officials and do the many things essential to set the ma- 
chinery of the county in motion. In this work the member from the 
hills seems to have had his share of influence. In the appointment of 
the county officials Mr. D. W. Shryock was made a justice of the peace, 
C. W. P. Osgood, constable, Alden Brown, county superintendent, all of 
Wessington P. O., and Mr. L. G. Wilson of township 106 — 64, county 
assessor. Of these officers appointed by the first commissioners of 
Aurora county, Mr. Wilson was the only one who was selected by the 
people to succeed himself at the expiration of his appointed term. 

During the year 1881 the settlers had not been molested by the horse 
thieves and it was hoped that their troubles from that source were ended. 

During a part of the summer and fall of 188 1 Hudson Horsley lived 
with the family of his father-in-law, Mr. C. W. Hill on the NE of 22 
in 108 — 65. Mr. Horsley had nearly completed a house on the SE of 
26, which he had taken for a pre-emption claim in the same township. 
He had put up a stack of hay and was about ready to take up his abode 
for the winter on his own land. 

M r. Hill's residence was near the lower end of a gulch or ravine, that 
extended some distance back into the hills. A view to the south from 


Mr. and Mrs. C. JV. Hill. Rev. J. G. Campbell. 

S. T. Leeds. 

Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Holcobnb. 


the house was cut oft" by the high peaks that rise many feet above the 
adjacent tops. 

One evening in November, when the wind was in the south, a bright 
light in the air near Turtle Peak gave them warning that a prairie fire 
was approaching among the hills. Mr. Horsley went to his new house 
ior^ section 26 to protect that and the hay. After he had gone, Mrs. 
Hill and Mrs. Horsley, growing anxious to know the exact location of 
the flames which they knew must be somewhere near the upper end of 
the ravine, left the house on section 22 and walked up the valley in 
the direction of the fire. They reached the high land at the end of the 
gulch, where a two-furrow firebreak had been made, when they found 
that the fire had already passed them on the west and had crosed the 
valley between them and the house. In a word they were on the hill 
surrounded by fire. The light wind drove the flames straight toward 
them. To get out of the circle of fire was impossible. There was 
scarcely a moment for thought even. As the flames 'rushed upon them, 
Mrs. Horsley threw herself into the furrow that formed a part of the 
firebreak and pulled some of the sods over her head and neck. For one 
terrible instant she felt the stifling heat, then the flames had passed. 
She sprang to her feet and saw her mother standing beside her enveloped 
in flames. Neither had lost consciousness and both realized their peril. 
With bare hands they tore ofif the burning garments and each saved the 
other. They finally reached home again but both were ill for a long 
time from the eft'ects of their fearful burns. Mr. Horsley had saved 
his barn and other property but had no use for it until the next season. 

Chapter 5. 

The year 1882 was an active year in the prairie settlement. North 
and south of it the railroads had been extended to the IMissouri river, 
and the C. M. & St. P. that year built its James River line north from 
Mitchell as far as Letcher. At every station immigrants and prospec- 
tors unloaded from the trains by hundreds and literally scattered over 
the prairies. They came singly and in parties of twos, threes and dozens. 
Every shanty, sod house and dug-out became a lodging place where the 
newcomers could find shelter for a night. 

As we have already seen the settlers about the Springs were a long 
ways from town and in case of sickness were practically without medical 
aid. So it was with much satisfaction that they welcomed the arival 


of Mrs. Dr. N. C. Weems, in February of 1882. She was a widow, well 
skilled in her profession and for many years was a veritable blessing to 
the people in the central part of Jerauld county. 

With the opening of spring, settlers and prospective settlers began to 
spread over 106, 107 and 108 in the north part of Aurora county and 
Ihe eastern part of Buffalo. It was difficult for the newcomers to select 
the unclaimed land from that for which entries had been already made 
at the land office. This fact induced several of the men who had been 
in the country about the hills long enough to become familiar with it, 
to make a regular business of assisting the immigrants to find suitable 

Among those who devoted their time to helping the newcomers to 
locate were C. W. Hill, Hiram Blowers, C. W. P. Osgood and A. B. 
Smart, the latter pursuading C. W. McDonald to come out from Sioux 
Falls to form a partnership and engage in the business with him. This 
was the first firm of land agents at the Springs and continued six months, 
when it was dissolved by limitation of contract. 

The first important event of the year 1882, was the organization of 
the M. E. Church, on the 30th of March for which articles of incorpor- 
ation were adopted April 8th. The beginning of this church organiza- 
tion was made by Rev. A. B. Smart, on the occasion of his first visit to 
the hills, Nov. 14th, 1880. At that time he held religious services at 
the home of P. R. Barrett, and organized a class meeting. That organi- 
zation had been continued, with services at irregular intervals, until the 
foundation of the regular church society as above stated. This nucleus 
of a church had been kept alive mainly through the efforts of Mr. Smart. 

The charter members of this church corporation were : 

Sarah Barrett, Mrs. Biddle, Fannie Tofflemier, Laura Shryock, C. 
W. McDonald, Omer Shryock, Thos. Shryock, Clias. Shryock, Ruble J. 
Smart, A. B. Smart, F. T. Tofflemier, Mrs. E. Tofflemier, Ruth Toffle- 
mier, Kate Tofflemier, Ollie Tofflemier, Floy Tofflemier, Maud Toffle- 
mier, Tell Tofflemier, Wm. Taylor. 

With the organization of the church Rev. J. W. P. Jordan, father- 
in-law of A. B. Smart, was made pastor. The meeting was held at the 
residence of Mrs. Riddle, which was located about the center of the 
south line of section 8- — 107 — 64. 

At the first quarterly meeting of that year, 1882, it was determined 
to build a church 26 by 40 ft. in size on the northwest quarter of section 
17. Of course to build a church required money. As the members of 
the little community were not able to pay the expense of erecting the 
proposed edifice it was necessary to look elsewhere for required funds. 
"By a unanimous vote of the members of the church Mr. R. S. Bateman 


was appointed a committee of one to look after that part of the under- 

As soon as he could put his affairs in shape for leaving, he drove to 
Huron and took the train for his old home at Appleton, Wis. 

The next important event, especially to the parties concerned, was 
the birth of a son to Mr. and Ad^rs. Hudson Horsley, of io8- — 65 at their 
home on the SE of section 26. The little Dakotan was named Orlo and 
was the first birth in what is now Jerauld county. 

It is impossible to ascertain certaintly the order in which the settlers 
arrived in 1882 and the years that followed. But in the spring of 1882 
the number of residents was increased by the arrival of J- G. Campbell, 
C. T. Wallace, Geo. R. Bateman, H. J. Wallace, Findlay T. Tofflemier, 
J. A. Holcolmb, John Chapman, Seth Richardson, Wm. Goodwin, B. F. 

From the 5th of Nov. 1878 when it was established,until the 1st of July. 
1882, the postoffice of which P. R. Barrett. was postmaster, had been known 
as Wessington, but on that day the department at Washington changed 
it to Elmer, and gave the name Wessington to a new office established in 
the western part of Beadle county on the C. & N. W. Ry. The change 
of name came as a complete surprise to the settlers by the springs and 
their indignation was great. Petitions signed by nearly all the settlers 
were time and again sent to the department officials asking that the 
former name of the office be restored. 

The immediate employment of the people at that time was getting 
settled, breaking prairie and planting "sod crops." Their buildings, 
hastily constructed, were either frame shanties or "sod houses." The 
former were usually covered outside with tar paper and inside with such 
periodicals as the family received through the mails, while the sod 
structures had no lumber except what was required for window and 
door frames and roof. Occasionally some settler would select a spot on 
a side hill and with pick and shovel scoop out a hole 10x12 feet in size, 
throw over it a few planks and some dirt and use it for a temporary 
abode. These dwellings were models of neatness and afforded their oc- 
cupants as much or more of comfort and unalloyed happiness, as they 
obtained in after years in more prententious houses. 

The erection of these buildings and hay or sod stables was the first 
move in getting settled. The next was to break up as much of the prairie 
as possible and get it planted. There was no "old ground" to rent and 
each one must prepare from the beginning the field that he sowed. 

The breaking season always began as soon as the grass started, which 
was as early as the frost was out of the ground and continued until 
alK)ut the 20th of June. Settlers who had but one pair of animals would 
"double up" with a neighbor and so "change work" through the season. 


Horses, oxen, cows, all that had strength to pull were put at the neces- 
sary work. 

C. M. Chery and M. J. Thornton united their teams and began to 
turn up the tough sod. Thornton had been using the team which con- 
sisted of two of his own and one of Chery's horses for several days, 
when one morning, on going to the stable to feed the animals he found 
the stalls empty. Filled with misgivings he hurried to Chery's shanty 
to see if the horses had broken out of the stable and gone over there. 
Chery, had seen nothing of them and a day of search and inquiry about 
the settlement failed to find any trace of the missing team. The horse- 
thieves had again commenced their work. In hayingtime two yoke of 
oxen belonging to Hudson Horsley and his brother Bromwell Horsley 
were gone and could not be found. Other losses were sustained and the 
settlers began to guard their stables with dog and gun. The presence 
of "night riders" was again reported and the mysterious comings and 
goings of strange men and of some "hangers-on," who had no visible 
means of support was a subject of much discussion in the neighborhood. 

The settlers were now sufficiently numerous to dare to protect them- 
selves and about Sept. ist a move was set on foot to drive the lawless 
characters from the hills and gulches. A party captured a young fellow 
whose actions appeared to them suspicious and by threatening him with 
serious consequences if he did not reveal all he knew of the desperadoes, 
obtained from him a full statement of who the thieves were, their place 
of rendezvous and their method of operation. The boy was detained 
and application made to Justice of the Peace Shryock for a warrant for 
the arrest of all the members of the gang implicated by the boy's narra- 
tive. The warrant was issued and placed in the hands of C. W. P. Os- 
good, constable. 

The news soon spread through the settlement that a raid was to be 
made on the horsethieves, supposed to be somewhere in the gulches. The 
constable did not feel like searching the hills and ravines alone and be- 
gan to look about to gather a posse to assist him in making the arrests. 

While the constable was gathering his assistants a party of settlers 
in io8 — 65, growing impatient and fearful that the desperadoes would 
get into hiding, started to capture some of them before the constable 
could arrive. The result of this move was the shooting of one man and 
the escape of the fellow supposed to be the leader of the horsethieves. 

Meanwhile the constable was riding about with great bluster, calling 
for a posse and spreading the news of the proposed arrest. In the midst 
of the excitement W. I. Bateman drove to the residence of Rev. J. G. 
Campbell and asked him to join in helping the officer to serve the war- 
rant. The minister readily assented and taking his Winchester rifle set 


out with Bateman to join the constable. Mr. Osgood was satisfied with 
this acquisition to his force and immediately started for the ravine in 
109 — 65, indicated by the boy's story as the hiding place of the men 
named in the warrant. 

At the entrance to the gulch indicated the posse found a strange man, 
heavily armed, standing as a sentinel, who commanded the party to halt 
and then informed them that his instructions w'ere to not allow anyone 
to go up that valley. 

"Look here, my man," said the minister, "you come and look in this 
bwggy-" The man came to the vehicle and saw several rifles and re- 
volvers lying on some hay in the bottom of the box. "Now," said 
Campbell, "it may be for your eternal welfare, both here and hereafter 
to get into that buggy and ride alone with us." 

"I guess maybe your advice is good," replied the stranger as he 
climbed into the buggy and the party drove on. 

They ascended the ravine to where they expected to find the man 
they were looking for, but he was gone. The party returned to the 
mouth of the gulch and there separated, Campbell and Osgood going on 
north along the foot of the hills to look for the other men named in the 

Campbell and Osgood went to see the man who had been shot and 
found him suffering considerable pain and terribly frightened. The bullet 
had struck a rib, followed around his body to the back where it had 
passed out, giving the appearance of having gone directly through him. 
Campbell probed the wound and having learned the course taken by the 
bullet assured the man that his hurt was not fatal. He then sent for Airs. 
Dr. Weems to attend the injured fellow and departed on his errand 
with the constable. 

It was afternoon when they left home and the trip up the ravine had 
taken considerable time. Night had now come on and the two men pro- 
ceeded by starlight. 

After traveling a mile or so they heard the loud voices of men evi- 
dently intoxicated. The strangers were on foot and coming along the 
trail which the minister and constable were following. Osgood at once 
recognized the voices as those of the men he wanted. He and Campbell 
got out of the buggy and taking their weapons advanced to meet the ap- 
prouching group. The drunken men did not notice the constable and 
his companion until the minister stepped squarely in front of them with 
leveled rifle end ordered them to throw up their hands. The men were 
dumfounded. but their hands went up, instantly. Soon they realized 
that they were facing a leveled rifle and two revolvers. Then their pro 
fanity became terrific, but lower their hands they dare not. They obeyed 


an order to face about, and then stood still with uplifted hands until the 
constable had taken a brace of revolvers from each of them. They were 
then put into the buggy and guarded by the constable and his companion 
were taken to Osgood's residence where they were detained until the next 
day. A preliminary examination was held before Justice Shryock and 
the settlers then realized that it is one thing to have suspicions, well 
founded, in fact to be fully convinced, and feel that they absolutely know 
a thing, and still not be able to prove it. 

The boy when brought into court declared the story he had told the 
men who had threatened him was all false, and told to save himself from 
punishment. The justice could do nothing but discharge the prisoners, 
except the young fellow, who spent a long time in the jail at Plankinton. 
The result, however, was effectual. The settlers were no longer molested 
by the desperadoes. 

Chapter 6. 

About the 20th of May 1882, assessor L. G. Wilson began the first 
assessment of Aurora county. In that portion now contained in Jerauld 
county he found 123 persons. 

In the spring and summer of 1882 settlers established themselves in 
other parts of the county. In 106 — 65 Joseph Mottle located with a herd 
of cattle on the SE of Sec. 5 ; S. S. Moore put in a sod crop on the SE 
of 2;^ and N. E. Williams on the NW of 13 and later in the year V. I. 
Converse built a small shanty on the SE of 28 ; Jule Swan also located 
there that summer. 1 

In 106 — 66 Frank Spinier began work in May on his tree claim and 
did the first breaking in the township. He built a sod house on the 
same claim, the SW of 26, about the same time. At the southwest 
corner of Crow Lake, Albert Allyn, a clerk in the land office at Mitchell 
selected a claim in Sec. 22, as soon as the surveyor's plat was filed and 
he and Spinier were at work on their sod buildings at the same time. 

In the NE part of 106 — 6y, Combs & Harris located a horse ranch 
in Sec. 2, while in 107 — 67, later in the season Abe Scyoc and Henry 
Ferren settled in Sec. 18. Among those who came to the western part 
of the county prospecting that season was C. S. Jacobs, from Victor, 
N. Y., who located a tree claim in Sec. 6 — 106- — 66. S. S. Vrooman, from 
Pana, 111., and E. S. Waterbury and his brother Dan, both from Polo, 
111., each of whom took from one to three claims in 107 — 67. At the 


same time S. T. Leeds came from Amboy, 111., and traversed the whole 
length of what is now Jerauld county. Leeds selected a line quarter 
section in what is Pleasant township and went to the land office at 
Mitchell to make a tree claim entry for it. He paid his money, obtained 
a filing receipt and went on his way to Illinois. When he returned the 
next year he found that his receipt described land six miles west of that 
he had selected. The reason was that 107 — 66 had not been surveyed, 
but 107—67 had been, and the officials at the land office preferred to give 
him what he didn't want, rather than take the trouble to explain. 

In the fall of that year Mrs. Mary Hendricks, the first woman settler 
in 107 — 67, came out from Polo, 111., and filed on the southwest quarter 
of section 11. Early in the next spring she came again and for several 
years remained a resident of that township. 

On the iith day of July, 1882, a party of four men, driving several 
hundred head of sheep arrived at the settlement about the big spring and 
stopped at the residence of Hiram Blowers for the night. The next 
morning they went west, over the hills looking for land upon which to 
locate a sheep ranch taking the flock with them. They were the first to 
cross the hills for the purpose of settlement and two of them are still 
residents of the county. The party consisted of O. O. England, C. W. 
England, Chas. Armstrong and N. B. England. They went up into 
township 108 — 66, then unsurveyed, and when they found a place that 
suited them they stopped and began the first habitation between the 
Springs and Ft. Thompson. 

About two months later Mr. Allan G. Snyder moved on to his 
present farm in sections 14 and 23 in the same township and has kept up 
his establishment alone for twenty-seven years. 

In the northeast part of the county in the north part of township 108 — 
63 Wm. Arne had found a tract of land that suited him and made it his 
home. In the south part of the township tw^o gentlemen from England 
had set their stakes and were making themselves homes on the prarne. 
One was John Cook and the other Thos. Sheffield. Both are in that town- 
ship with their families yet. 

Just across the line in Sanborn county, Mrs. Mary Barber and ]\Iiss 
Betsy Litchfield were holding claims. They will be remembered by all 
the early settlers as the two ladies who for many years were the hostesses 
of the Alpena Revere House. 

In township 107 — 66. B. F. Crittenden, a private surveyor, had estab- 
lished his residence on the SW of 35. 

Among the newcomers were two of especial assistance to their neigh- 
bors — in those days "neighborhood" extended over a wide stretch of 
country. These two men were John Chapman, who had settled on the 


G. N. Price's Liverv Barn at Waterhury. 

Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Sheffield. 

Miss Betsey Litchfield. Mrs. Mary Barber. 


SE of section 17 — 107 — 64 and Wm. Goodwin on the SW of 32 in the 
same township. Both were skilled blacksmiths and soon had all the) 
could do in attending to the wants of the settlers. 

Until July ist, 1882, the people about the hills had relied upon the 
mail route from Mitchell to Ft. Thompson for their mail. Then the 
government gave them a line once a week from Plankinton. 

On the 4th day of March, 1882, President Arthur issued a patent 
conveying title to the land embraced in Stearns' proof, made April 30, 

1881, and upon which the big springs are located. On the loth of May, 

1882, Mr. Burr sold to D. A. Scott a one-half interest in this tract of 
land and they immediately set Surveyor Israel Green, of Mitchell, at work 
platting the town of Wessington Springs. The town plat was filed in the 
office of the register of deeds of Aurora county, May 26th, 1882. This 
was the first official publication of the name "Wessington Springs." 

Another important event, the first of its kind in the country embraced 
in the county of Jerauld, was the marriage of C. W. McDonald and Fanny 
Tofflemier, on the 17th of August, 1882, at the residence of the bride's 
parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. T. Tofflemier. The officiating clergyman was 
Rev. A. B. Smart. 

On the — day of — , 1882, Alden Brown, growing tired of the duties 
of his office resigned the position of county superintendent of Aurora 
county, and Mr. C. W. McDonald was. at the instance of Commissioner 
Smart, appointed to fill the vacancy. As the school townships were not 
organized, however .there was but little work for that officer to do. 

As the time for the November election approached the people of 
Aurora county began to look about for men to succeed the appointed 
officials In the whole political arena there is probably no position more 
trying or thankless than that of commissioner to organize a new county. 
Many a political ambition, or business scheme, depends for its success 
upon the policy to be adopted by that first board. The old proverb, "as 
the twig is bent the tree is inclined," is as true of young counties as of 
young children. 

The commissioners of Aurora county had incurred the enmity of a 
number of men possessed of considerable political influence, who deter- 
mined to punish them by defeating their election to succeed themselves. 
For member from the hill district they determined that Mr. Smart should 
not be continued in office. The result was that that commissioner was 
retired and Mr. R. S. Bateman, of Wessington Springs, put in his place. 

Mr. L. G. Wilson, of township 106 — 64, was continued as assessor, 
but was cut off from further work, for Aurora county, by the division of 
that county, which occurred the next year. 

Late in the fall of 1882 a man named S. Woodhouse built a shanty on 


the townsite of Wessington Springs, but in a few days moved it out into 
the country. This was the first building erected on the townsite. 

Chapter 7. 

In the early part of February, 1883, E. S. Waterbury and his brother, 
Dan Waterbury, came back to their claims in the west half of section 
21 — 107 — 67 and prepared for platting a town. The plat which was filed 
on the 10th day of March, 1883, comprised eight blocks, six and a half 
in the southwest corner of the NW quarter of the section owned by E. 
S. Waterbury, and one and a half blocks in the northwest corner of the 
SW quarter, owned by Dan Waterbury. They had erected a building, 
of lumber brought with them from the woods about Polo, 111., on the 
line between their two claims. For a time it was the only structure on 
the townsite. The new village was named Waterbury, after the men who 
founded it. 

Two miles away, on the SW of 29, in the same township, a man by 
the name of John R. Miller, but who was masquerading under the name 
of John Scott, had filed a pre-emption claim, and with a man named 
Burpee and another, a minister, F. M. Cooley, of Cedar Lake, Iowa, 
began to plat a town which they called Sulphur Springs. The name was 
also given to a large spring that was close enough to the site to furnish 
the town with abundance of water. The Sulphur Springs plat was made 
a matter of record five days after the Waterbury plat was filed. Both 
were entered of record in Brule county, to which Buffalo county had for 
some time been attached for judicial purposes. 

The two towns were near the line which it was thought the S. M. 
branch of the C. M. & St. P. Ry. would follow from Diana (Artesian) 
to the Missouri river. They, were rival towns in the strictest sense of 
the word. No more beautiful or fertile land could be fond in the whole 
territory and it only required transportation and population to make one 
of them a fine city and the county seat of Buffalo county. Which should 
it be? 

The railroads, hotels and livery stables were surprised, astonished and 

If 1882 was a year for prospectors, 1883 was the year for settlers. 
The number of settlers in '83 far more than doubled the number of those 
who came to "look" in previous years. All the railroads leading into 
the territorv were strained to the utmost to carry the immigrant freight 


billed to some point between the James and Missouri rivers. The rail- 
road between Mitchell and Kimball was lined on both sides with people 
in wagons, in tents and some without any shelter, in camp, getting their 
movables ready, as fast as possible to move off into the country. The 
village hotels and residences were crowded with people who sought shelter , 
from the March or April weather. 

Everybody was talking of the new county that the last territorial 
legislature had formed out of the north part of Aurora. Plankinton 
was the main point of debarkation for those who were going to the cen- 
tral part while those who were going into the eastern part of the new 
county left the railroad at Mitchell or Huron. 

Townships io6 — 67, 107 — 67 and 108 — 67 had been a part of Buffalo 
county prior to the creation of Jerauld county by the legislature of 1883, 
and the fact that they had been put in to make up the new county, does 
not seem to have been generally known until some months later. 

All, however, received the on-rush of settlers. At White Lake and 
Kimball hundreds of men left the train every day, swarmed to the hotels 
and eating houses, and then as fast as teams could be hired, and as fast 
as teams could take them, they rushed for townships 106, 107 and 108, 
ranges 66 and dy. The objective points were Waterbury or Sulphur 
Springs in 107 — dj, or Crow Lake in 106 — 66. 

Crow Lake in the southern part of io6 — 66 is a body of water cover- 
ing an area of about 700 acres. It was a meandered lake, and well known 
by reputation to many people who had never seen it. Settlers in telling 
of their claims referred to them as being north, south, east or west from 
Crow Lake. People who went into the western part of Jerauld county 
entered it by way of Waterbury or Sulphur Springs, or by way of Crow 
Lake or Wessington Springs. 

By the first of August nearly every quarter section in the surveyed 
townships had been filed on and in the unsurveyed the land was subject 
to some "squatter's" right. So great was the influx of people that the 
first assessor's report made in June, 1884, showed 1,1 11 voters in the 
new county and a population of nearly 2,500, and yet it is doubtful if 
the population increased any after the first of October, 1883. The assess- 
ment of 1882 had reported only 123 persons, all told, in the part of the 
county then belonging to Aurora. At the time of the '82 assessment there 
were no settlers in range 67. 

While the incoming settlers were racing over the prairies to get the 
choicest locations, the two towns of Waterbury and Sulphur Springs 
were vying with each other to get the lead in business and general im- 

Each had a newspaper about the same time, "The News" at Water- 


bury and "The Buffalo County Herald" at Sulphur Springs. Both pub- 
lications started in May or June. Then Sulphur Springs got a saloon, 
run by Pond & Fluke. Waterbury did not have a saloon and did not 
want one. 

But the saloon at Sulphur Springs was short lived. In fact it went 
to pieces before it really got started. One of the partners, Fluke, a Ger- 
man, furnished the capital with which to finance the enterprise, and 
against this Pond was to put in his time. They brought from Kimball 
four barrels of whiskey and a load of lumber. Before the building was 
erected however, a quarrel between the partners dissolved the firm. Two 
of the barrels had been opened and about half the contents sold when the 
dissolution of partnership occurred. Pond claimed and took the two full 
barrels of whiskey and half the lumber and hauled it to his claim in 
Buffalo county. 

The part of the assets reserved by Fluke was seized by the landlord, 
Conrad, for a board bill and stored in the cellar of the hotel and then 
taken to a shanty on the SE of section 31 in 107 — 67. From there it dis- 
appeared in small quantities, portions of it being found later on the sur- 
rounding prairie, under stones and in other hiding places. 

Pond retained his share of the liquor, and the license, until the part 
taken by Fluke was gone and then it also vanished. There has never 
since been a saloon in the western part of Jerauld county. 

S. T. Leeds had already opened a blacksmith shop at Sulphur Springs 
while W. E. DeMent had set up a forge in the rival town. Each town 
had a hotel ready for use about the same time. Dr. Jones built the hos- 
telry at Waterbury and leased it to Wilbur Cross, while Mr. Conrad put 
up the one at Sulphur Springs. 

Sulphur Springs secured a post office first, and it was thought a 
decided advantage was obtained by it. But the advantage, if any, was 
somewhat lessened by the fact that the department had refused to give 
the office the name of the -town and called it "Delta." Mr. Waterbury 
offset the advantage that the opposing town had from its post office, 
which received mail from Kimball once a week, by going to Kimball 
twice a week and getting the mail for all the residents and patrons of 
his town. 

F. M. Cooley, who ran the "Herald," told editorially of the advan- 
tages of Sulphur Springs as a business location, while Dunlap, publisher 
of the "News," told of the growing importance of Waterbury. Burton 
Brown opened a general store in Sulphur Springs and Pice & Herring 
started a similar establishment, but on a larger scale, in the other town. 

Then Sulphur Springs organized a brass band, and Waterbury formed 
a string band. 


Sulphur Spriugs organized a Congregational Church, incorporated it 
and built a church building 20x30 feet in size. 

This church, the first of its denomination in the county, was incor- 
porated Nov. 1st, 1883, the charter being issued to F. ]\I. Cooley, Joseph 
Ponsford, Henry E. Alerwin, Chas. Lyon and others whose names are 
unobtainable. The name of the society was "First Congregational Church 
of Bufifalo County, D. T." At the time the charter was applied for, the 
people of that portion of the county did not know that the townships in 
range 67 had been detached from Buffalo county and made a part of the 
new county of Jerauld. 

When the time came for laying the foundation wall for the church 
the minister's wife went about among the people of the town solicit- 
ing from each some little thing to put under the corner stone. She met 
with good success until she reached the blacksmith shop. 'T have noth- 
ing," said the man at the bellows. "O yes ! Any little thing, no matter 
what," insisted the lady. 'T know I haven't anything at all — but yet, 
wait, ril tell you, I've a half-pint flask. I hate to spare it, but FU 
put that under the stone." "No, no," said the good woman, "there shall 
be no such thing as that in the collection." 

"Yes," said the smith, growing determined with opposition, "I'll put 
it under the stone." 

"But I say you shall not." 

"Well then, I'll put it beneath a stone at the other corner, but under 
a corner of the wall the flask shall go." 

So the flask was left out of the collection, but when the mason laid 
the stone at one of the other corners the smith thrust the flask in un- 
der it. 

A few weeks later a heavy wind struck the church, partly moving it 
from the wall. Then it was found that the corner resting above the 
flask had not been moved perceptably. 

When the crowd gathered about the building to ascertain the dam- 
age the smith remarked, "If I had only put a flask under each corner." 

As both towns were ambitious to be the county seat of Bviffalo county, 
they determined to call a mass convention to nominate county officers. 
The plan was to ask the governor to appoint the commissioners nominated 
by the convention, after which the commissioners should organize the 
county and appoint the other officers named. 

The convention was held in the fore part of August, at Waterbury, 
and E. A. Herman, W. H. Crandall and E. W. Cleveland were nominated 
for commissioners. Of course nothing came of the movement and later 
the idea of still remaining a part of Buffalo county was abandoned. 


Chapter 8. 

The surveying of the various townships of Jerauld county was done 
under different contracts, let by the government to surveyors at diif'erent 
times. The townships in ranges 64 and 65 were surveyed in 1874 and 
those in 6;^ the year following. Township 106 — 66, 106 — 67, 108 — 66, 
and 107 — 67 were surveyed in 1882, while those numbered 107 — 66 and 
108 — 67 were surveyed in the spring and summer of 1883. 

On the surveyed lands the settlers had no trouble in selecting the 
tracts they desired, but in the townships where the lines had not been run, 
the difficulty was sometimes great, especially so if the country was rough 
and broken. Some of the squatters employed private surveyors to ex- 
tend the lines from surveyed townships, some, starting from a corner 
stake already established, would measure M'ith a marked buggy or wagon 
wheel, while others would "step" off the required distance. The greater 
portion of 107 — 66, 108 — 66 and 108 — 67 was settled upon by squatters 
in advance of the government surveyors. 

In the summer af 1883 while the contractor was surveying the lines 
of 107 — 66, he was much surprised by the sudden disappearance of his 
flagman who was but a short distance away and on comparitively level 
ground. The man had dropped out of sight while the surveyor was 
looking back over the route they had come. A half hour passed and 
then in place of the flagman appeared a fellow wearing an enormously 
tall plug hat, a swallow-tailed coat and carrying a light cane. All the 
£.fternoon the surveyor followed the strange flagman who seemed to 
know 'well enough the duties of his position. 

When evening came and the crew gathered at the camp fire the stranger 
proved to be the regular flagman. In passing the NE of 21 the man had 
noticed a board lying upon the prairie about which the grass had been a-, 
good deal trampled. The appearance aroused his curiosity and he- 
turned the board over. This disclosed a hole leading down into a room 
about 8x10 feet in size. He dropped into the room, which was unoc- 
cupied, and found a sheet iron stove, a bed, a rude stool and several 
articles of wearing apparel. He exchanged garments with the unknown 
squatter and climbing to the surface appeared before the surveyor as the- 
strange flagman. The next day when passing the same quarter again' 
the flagman stopped to "reswap" and found the hole, or "dugout" occu- 
pied by a negro who was holding the land under the rules of "squatter- 
sovereignty." The hole was his domicile and constituted his improve-- 
ments. When the surveyor's plat was filed the darkey made entry for the 
land and afterwards perfected his proof. The hole was the only residing 
place he ever had on — or in — the land. 


That the reader may get the full interest of the story of Jerauld 
county as we proceed the names are here given that appeared upon the 
tax list of the various townships in 1884, which was made in the months 
of May and June of that year. The list is so large that it is impossible 
to give the order in which the settlers came; but it is safe to say that 
nearly all came in 1883, or before, and all prior to May ist, 1884: 

Logan, (106 — 6^) — H. C. Andrews, John W. Atkinson, S. X. Atkins, 
G. R. Bass, W. J. Burnett, D. M. Brannon, E. R. Burgess, Joseph 
Byer, E. Blakeslee, W. H. Butterfield, D. A. Brannon, W. S. Combs, 
Jr., Mr. Colwall, E. Coleman, T. Chase, J. N. Barker, A. J. Brown, F. 
Coupleman, Zebulon P. DeForest, Mary Dykeman, William DeKay, 
Ira Ellis, Austin S. Fordham, Wm. H. Fox, Mary Frick, H. A. Frick. 
Henry E. Geweke, A. L. Gotwals, Geo. W. Gallers, W. Hayter, Adam 
P. Hoag, Stephen Hillers, A. Harris, Geo. Housner, Charles Hastings, 
W. Hodge, J. B. June, Neils C. E. Jorgenson, H. Krumswied, August 
Kappleman, Christian Kuhrt, C. F. Kuhrt, Frank Knight, B. F. Levette, 
James Long, Henry Mundfrom, Alex McClellan, John Marris, Charles 
W. Mentzer, H. H. Moulton, C. C. Meyer, Chas. S. Marvin, Annie E. 
Norin, Wm. Niemeyer, J. E. Noggle, Andrew Pflaum, J. Purdy, D. B. 
Paddock, E. W. Patten, Joseph G. Reaset, J. A. Riegel, W. Rosenbaum, 
P. J. Rahbe, H. A. Robinson, G. B. Robinson, A. Rosenbaum, Eugene 
Roe, W. A. Ransom, A. Solomon, Joseph Sutherland, Will S. Sapham, 
David Strabble, R. V. Smith, Arthur Sykes, B. L. Solomon, Herman 
Schurke, Orlo Stannard, Willis Stannard, J. M. Spears, Herman Wal- 
ters, Hiram Woodbury, Andrew Wilson, J. M. Wray, J. F. Wicks, E. 
G. Will, Henry P. Will, J. H. Young. 

Crow, (107— 67)— Wm. Austin, D. W. Bracy, U. E. Babb, C. W. 
Blackney, U. P. Bump, Harry T. Bert, David Barr, Geo. W. Burger, 
H. N. Brown, N. J. Barr, Henry C. Corey, Geo. A. Chambers, Wilber 
M. Cross, T. P. Clark, Hugh Connel, E. Corsen, Morris E. Curtis, C. 
A. Cahill. C. A. Conrad, Clarence C. Carnes, F. M. Cooley, J. F. Cooley, 
T. J. Dickey, T. R. Dunlap, W. E. Dement, Wm. Dunlap, Delavan L. 
Davis, James Dunlap, Samuel Dunlap, Frank Dunlap, John Eagen, 
Jerry Foley, James Fgerty, Eveline Gray, L. H. Goodrich, J. A. Grace, 
George Gilbert, Charles Green, W. H. Howard, Josephine Herring, 
Mary L. Healy, E. A. Herman, S. E. Herman, John Hessett, Henry Her- 
ring, Jack Harrison, Jorgen Jorgenson, D. T. Jones, Horace P. Jones, 
G. King, W. King, K. Knutson, E. A. Kreitzer, W. G. Kellogg, Seth 
Kethledge, S. T. Leeds, Geo. L. Light, Thos. W. Lane, H. A. Lamb, 
Chas. H. McClintic, E. F. Merwin, John R. Miller, H. E. Merwin, C. 
V. Martin, L. W. Miles, Penelope Miller, E. V. Martin, L. P. Miles, A. 
M. Moore, E. N. Mount, F. L. Norin, C. B. Noble, Jacob Norin, Thomas 


H. Null, Geo. H. Pierce, James A. Paddock, W. F. Ponsford, Joseph 
Ponsford, E. S. Platner, Chas. E. Platner, L. R. Prichard, J. L. Perry, 
Wm. H. Plank, Anna A. Peterson, G. N. Price, W. A. Pond, G. S. Rowe, 
W. A. Rex, C. G. Robinson, Mrs. S. C. Rowe, H. M. Rice, Jean Rabie, 
Alvah Remington, Joseph Roberts, H. L. Shakespeare, Frank Sage, 
Eugene Stanley, Miss R. F. Scott, Minnie Stanley, A. Snart, John Snart, 
Patrick Sweeney, Chas. M. Torrence, S. S. Vrooman, R. A. Wheeler, 
Geo. Waterbury, P. A. Wilson, P. H. Whalen, David Waterbury, J. L. 
Wilson, Lewis J. Waterbury, Joseph Wertz, A. E. White, David FI. Wa- 
terbury, E. S. Waterbury, O. P. Waterbury, D. O. Wilson. 

Marlaur, (108^ — 67) — ^John Briles, John Buchanan, Wm. S.Bass, J. 
P. Boisen, Herbert Baker, Chas. Boisen, F. M. Bemis, Amrose Baker, 
S. M. Baker, Jas. Buchanan, W. Cavico, J. F. Calvert, Charles Chris- 
tianson, J. M. Corbin, John L. Coller, Helen E. Dement, A. H. DeLap, 
J. H. Daniel, Frank Danberg, O. C. Emery, J. M. Flint, Evans Flack, 
Brice Garvis, Geo. G. Groub, Wm. Grace, Mary Grimwood, Z. Groub, 
J. J. Groub, Elial Heaton, Tillman Hunt, John A. Hudson, R. P. Hites, 
A. T. Hudson, Calvin Hain, Hattie Hillman, Oscar N. Hillman, J. W. 
Lamb, Elwood Lancaster, Matilda Lindquist, P. O. Lindquist, Wm. Mar- 
shall, B. F. Marlaur, Wm. Marlaur, Christian Movek, Theron Mills, 
Wm. Orr, E. Orcutt, Peter Peterson, F. J. Pressey, David Potter, D. 
Rodney Pavey, John Ruan, G. H. Rhodes, A. Remington, Levi Strong, 
W. M. Scofield, W. S. Scofield, C. F. Scofield, C. C. Sapp, Geo. A. 
Sloan, Patrick Swiney, A. C. Thompson, James Tolbert, W. R. Whipple, 
Emeline Waterbury. 

Harmony, (108 — 66) — Mary E. Burger, Joseph Bromley, Geo. S. 
Brady, Anson Beals, Mary E. Ballard, Wm. Bremner, Chas. A. Brown, 
Clayton Brown, Jas. H. Cool, Joseph H. Collier, John C. Chapman, Delos 
Clink, John Collier, Chas. Darling, N. J. Dunham, John Eglin, O. O. 
England, Henry L. England, Joseph R. Eddy, C. W. England, Geo. S. 
Eddy, L. O. Evans, Adolph Fesenmier, Fred Fisher, Otto Fesenmier, 
James Grieve, Isaac Grimons, W. T. Hammack, Edwin Hamblin, Morris 
A. Hoar, J. M. Hanson, T. J. Morris, A. M. Moor, S. E. Mills, O. J. 
Marshall, C. W. Mills, W. A. Miller, C. M. Mills, Daniel Mitchell, J. 
H. Murphy, Wm. Murphy, Lewis Nordyke, August Ponto, H. A. Peirce, 
C. S. Richardson, I. N. Rich, Moses Rich, G. H. Shepherd, Allen G. 
Snyder, W. M. Skinner, T. W. Sample, Chas. G. Smith, John Shannon, 
Jefferson Sickler, R. O. Sheldon, Geo. W. Titus, W. M. Titus, Thomas 
Walsh, Peter Welfring, Thomas D. Williams, Thomas S. Whitehouse. 
Will McGalliard. 


Chapter 9. 

Pleasant, (107 — 66) — J. E. Adkinson, G. Bingham, C. S. Barber, 
Joseph Bowen, George Barnes, J. A. Barnum, L. J\I. Brown, Isaac Byam, 
W. \y. Brower, Anna E. Brower, James Cavenaugh, W. H. Coohdge, 
J. F. Chandler, P. X. Chandler, Ed Cummings, O. E. Corwin, B. F. 
Crittendon, Wm. A. Dean, John Day, T. H. Dnrfee, E. Dwyer, Hiram 
Dean. E. Ditsworth, James Dwyer, Irwin Eaton, P. J. Eddy, Andrew 
Faust, James Foster, S. W. Foster, Rial Farmer, Henry P. Faust, George 
Fisher, Henry Finster, O. E. Gaffin, Samuel Gailey, J. W. Gerken, J. 
A. Gaffin, Mattie E. Gloyd, Frank E. Gaffin, S. F. Huntley, H. D. Hin- 
iiers, C. J. Hunt, C. W. Hilliker, Herman Hinners, Chas. R. Hansen, 
AV. E. Hunt, D. C. Hewitt, Robert Hiatt, I. S. Ingham, N. J. Ingham. 
A. H. Ingham, Daniel Jacobs, John Jacobs, Joseph Jacobs, J. B. Jacobs, 
J. T. Johnston. L. A. King, Henry Kallis, Geo. W. King, Kate M. 
Knieriem, Geo. Knieriem, Herman Krueger, W. W. Lewis, J. F. Lynn, 
Henry McElwain, Noah 'Moonshover, S. J. Moore, Thos, Alurphy. 
Samuel Marlenee, John Murphy, Ira Maxwell, Albert J. JMiller, A. R. 
Powell. J. D. Powell, F. M. Pratt, Francis Pryne, Josephine J. M. Pryne, 
J. C. Pomeroy, Miss S, J. Richardson, Theo. Round, J. S. Richardson, 
Wm. Reagan, J. J. Snyder, J. E. Sullivan, Jacob Stickley, E. A. Sower- 
wine. R. H. Stetson, Geo. Strong, Miss Ai^nie Salter, Samuel Sowerwine, 
S. B. Shimp. B. R. Shimp, G. W. Stetson, R. C. Trollope, J. W. Todd, 
G. ^^^ Trollope, A. E. Turrill, — Thompson, W. H. Toaz, T. Tryon. 
R. S. A essey, Alark Williams, Thos. Warburton. 

Crow Lake, (106 — 66) — A. M. Allyn, Elizabeth A. Amos, Thomas 
Amos, W. R. Annis, R. A. Buckmaster, ]\Iiary V. Burroughs, Fred E. 
Burroughs, August Bachmor, Elizabeth Bartlett, Sherman Bartlett, James 
H. Baker, Perry Blojak,, Gustav Beutner, Frank Bruz, E. H. Grossman, 
C S. Grossman, John Conley, James Conley, Gideon E. Clark, John 
Deindorfer, V^aurin Dusek, Geo. Deindorfer, Carsten Detlefs, Louis Dein- 
•dorfer, Wm. H. DeGroat, B. F. Drown, Fred Daum, Sr., Fred Daum, 
Jr., C E. Daum, A. Duschick, J. P. Evans, Alex Erickson, Bertha E. 
Erickson, Joseph Fox, Thomas Fox, Ellis Gratz, Ellen D. Gordon, John 
Gibisch, Enos Granby, Joseph Gibisch, Sr., Joseph Gibisch, Jr., John 
Hicks, Robert Hibel, Samuel Hibel, John Hiller, J. L. Heintz, Wm. A. 
Huffman, R. Y. Hazard, D. R. Hughes, Robt. Hughes. E. N. Huntley, 
R. J. Hughes, Chas. W. Henning, Frank Haas, E. J. Holdridge, Thos. 
Henning, John N. Henning, Coleman Harrington. Henry M. Hafifey, 
Carl Haas, Fred Hoagland, Charles S. Jacobs, B. F. Jones, Samuel L. 
Kneedler, John Klekar, Louis Kratzer, Ernest Lain, Albert Maxwell, 
I^eter i\Iohr. Thomas Mitchell, Corneilus Mver, Nicholas Mver. Sr., 


Nicholas Myer, Jr., John Monarch, Frank Morawac, George J. Aloest, 
Z. S. Moulton, David Moulton, Eliza J. Mentzer, Theo. F. Mentzer, 
Samuel H. Melcher, James Nelson, Andrew Nelson, Joseph O'Brien, 
Fred Paulson, Emma Paulson, Anton Reindl, Matt Rupert, Elliott L. 
Sawyer, Frank Spinier, Wm. Shultz, John H. Schmidt, Nelson Swanson, 
Philip W. Tabor, Joseph Vanous, John Vanous, Geo. Vanous, J. H. 
Wichman, James Wamuse. 

Anina, (io6 — 65) — W. A. Baker, E. T. Bowen, John Bancroft, Mrs. 
Mary E. Bogardus, Michael Barr, James Barr, C. B. Blake, J. C. Barr, 
Chas. H. Coggshall, Miss F. Cummins, Miss Emma Cady, Elmer Car- 
penter, Anton Clementson, Christian Clementson, Robert Coe, V. I. 
Converse, A. D. Cady, Thomas G. Derry, W. R. Day, James T. Ferguson, 
I. H. French, Mrs. L. G. French, M. Greer, Claus Gunderson, Henry 
Gunderson, Mary J. Genet, Wm. H. Hensley, Kate Hannaberry, Wm. 
Hodgson, Fred A. Hagenbruck, Asa Hodgson, Mary D. Hagenbruck, 
O. F. Kellogg, Erie E. Kellogg, Bridget A. Kenny, C. C. Little, Louie 
Lindsey, J. M. Lyle, E. C. Lyle, George Lind, Joseph Lehmen, Miss Nel- 
lie Lewis, Joseph Motl, E. Moon, Gordon McDonald, Adolf Mahler, 
Geo. Maxwell, John Moore, McReady Martin, S. S. Moore, Jas. T. Mc- 
Glashan, C. R. Nelson, John B. Neal, Don C. Needham, Hattie E. Need- 
ham, Barnet Neal, Fidelia Overton, William Pooley, Frank Pecachek, 
John Pavek, Alva Primmer, W. B. Primmer, Orin Parker, G. V. Rhoades, 
Jas. C. Ryall, Mrs. Rhoades, R. S. Russell, Westly Shultz, Jesse Shultz, 
John W. Shultz, David S. Smelser, Miss Jennie Swan, Louis Schwarz, 
Jule A. Swan, Thomas E. Sadler, Henry J. Talbot, Samuel Totten, 
Charles Vesey, Mittie S. Vessey, C. W. Vessey, Peter Van Slyke, Henry 
Walters, Norris E. Williams, Geo. Walters, C. F. Walker, G. A.. Wine- 
garden, Helen Wheeler. 

Media, (107— 65)— Samuel Arnold, A. S. Beals, W. R. Brush, W. L 
Bateman, A. F. Bateman, Geo. W. Bennett, R. S. Bateman, A. A. Beels, 
Wm. Bush, C. L. Beach, Miss M. H. C. Bennett, D. E. Braught, R. Bush. 
R. H. Cowell, E. E. Cummings, B. G. Cummings, M. A. Cummings, 
Horace B. Coley, John Cross, M. D. Crow, Lucinda C. Comforth, Lucy 
A. Dixon, E. L. DeLine, Theodore Dean, James F. DeVine, Thos. V. 
Donovon, John DeVine, J. H. Farnham, Mary A. French, E. H. Ford, 
Jas. A. Hindman, W. A. Housel, M. J. Harris, Daniel Hindman, Charles 
Hanson, G. B. Hanford, A. Johnson, John H. Kugler, Chas. Kugler, 
Rudolph Krauz, Edward Kutzner, Mike J. Long, Augustin LaPoint, W. 
C. Mundie, C. W. McDonald, Donald McDonald, T. A. McGinnis, A. M. 
Mathias, R. M. Magee, J. E. McNamara, Calvin Ott, Mortimer Powell, 
George Pratt, Myron Pratt, A. Phillips, Wm. P. Ryan, Jos. Rummelhart. 
A. Schubert, Harland Stowell, J. M. Smith, Mrs. A. B. Smart, A. B. 


Smart, Isaac L. Stevens, B. F. Swatman, Mrs. L. G. Swatman, Wni. 
Theeler, Herman Theeler, John Tawlks, C. Thompson, Gustaf Theeler, 
Cyrus Thompson, C. E. Thayer, W. E. Taylor, E. A'oorhees, J. H.. Ves- 
sey, Jas. H. Woodburn, Jas. Weibold, Mrs. A. B. Williams, A. War- 

Chery, (io8 — 65) — Joseph Ackerson, George Archer, Henry L. Bart- 
lett, K. W. Blanchard, Harvey Butler, Geo, W. Bolton, J. F. Bolton, E. 
H. Cleaver, C. M. Chery, B. F. Chapman, Lina French, John Decker, P. 
B. Davis, Chas. Davis, B. Drake, A. R. Doty, Joseph Geopfert, G. Gop- 
pert, John Gilbert, S. B. Georgia, B. Horsley, Wm. Horsley, H. M. Hay, 
Jesse Harmston, R. M. Kayner, Jerusha Johnson, Chas. Marson, A. Mer- 
cer, Wm. Marlow, Fred Phillips, Philip Phillips, Salon Pal- 
mer, E. A. Palmer, Samuel Richardson, O. W. Richardson, 
Lemuel F. Russell, Mrs. A. A. Riddle, W. H. Robeson, 
Wm. J. Reese, Jacob Rosenthall, Lawrence Russell, Thos. Roach, Bridget 
Roach, James Roach, Joseph D. Roach, Albert Russell, Chas. Smith, 
Hudson Horsley, W. T. Hay, W. N. Hill, E. C. Hill, C. W. Hill, James 
Hoar, Inez L. Hoar, Geo. Homewood, George losty, H. P. Jones, Sarah 
Johnston, John Juza, Albert N. Louder, Miss Love, H. J. Louder, H. W. 
Louder, T. W. Lanning, T. J. Lanning, W. R. Lanning, J. W. Mellick, 
Herman Miller, J. W. McCullough, M. H. Martin, Ole Nelson, John 
Neff, C. W. P. Osgood, D. N. Paxton, J. H. Palmer, W. E. Phillips, 
Fred Phillips, John Poff, — • Raymond, M. E. Small, Jesse Simons, A. 
Sturgis, E. D. Schaefer, J. W. Simons, M. A. Schaefer, E. L. Turner, 
Chas. Taylor, M. J. Thornton, F. M. Townsend, H. J. Wallace, T. L. 
White, F. E. Woodruff, Sarah Wilkinson, Miss L. Young, J. C. Zim- 

Dale, (108 — 64) — John A. Adebar, Vincent Brechtel, Wm. Burns, 
B. B. Beadell, Anthony Bixler, Alden Brown, Chas. D. Brown, R. A. 
Bartlett, W. G. Cakebread, Edward Crawford, John Campbell, Archie 
Campbell, John Cook, Ely W. Chapman, John Crawford, John N. Dynes, 
Chas. Dawson, James Eastman, F. J. Eastman, A. B. Easter, Wm. Edgar, 
Emily J. Easter, Ira Eldell, B. F. Eagle, Louis Fenstimaker, R. R. Grif- 
fith, Daniel Schmidt, Ernest Schmidt, Joseph Scott, Charles Scott, John 
Teasdale, Robt. Tracy, Wilber I. Tower, D. Townsend, Clement Turner, 
R. \'andervene, Peter Wieland, Geo. H. Youngs. 


Chapter 10. 

Wessington Springs, (107 — 64) — S. H. Albert, M. C. Ayers, P. R. 
Barrett, Hiram Blowers, P. B. Berlin, J. J. Barnes, Geo. R. Bateman, J. 
G. Campbell, A. V. Custer, Solomon Carey, Geo. T. Chapman, John 
Chapman, Daniel Carey, Thomas Drake, LaFaette Ewers, Lucina Eager, 
M. M. Flint, John R. Francis, J. F. Ford, H. D. Fisher, Andrew Giller- 
son, Ernest Garendt, John Grant, Wm. M. Goodwin, Newell Grant, W. 
W. Goodwin, N. C. Hall, Wm. Huffman, Wm. Hawthorne, C. E. Hackett, 
Lars Johnson, James Johnson, J. W. P. Jordan, Robert Johnson, George 
Johnson, S. Kinney, E. Knudson, Andrew Lund, Martha Lewis, Ed 
Lowe, M. A. McCune, John A. McCarter, John McCarter, Samuel Mc- 
Donald, John McCormick, Chas. Meihak, Sarah McCormick, Richard 
McCormick, E. V. Miles, J. A. McDonald, James A. McCarter, H. W. 
Mills, J. D. Morse, Samuel McCormick, E. B. Orr, Harvey M. Russ, 
Seth Richardson, Edwin A. Riddle, Charles Rohr, Berton Richardson, 
Matthew Sheppard, J. O. Shryock, Thos. H. Shryock, S. K. Starkey, C. 
H. Stephens, H. C. Stephens, A. C. Shultz, H. S. Starkey, L. S. Starkey, 
S. S. Starkey, D. W. Shryock, John Stone, E. L. Smith, F. T. Tofflemier, 
W^m. Taylor, Ruth Tofflemier, L. H. Tarbell, E. L. Turner, J. W. Thomas, 
Jane R. Williams, B. F. Wiley, Wm. J. Williams, Mary Williams, S. 
West, E. G. Williams, John E. White, Owen E. Williams, Adam West. 

Viola, (106 — 64)- — David A. Bryant, Augusta T. Berge. Alanson 
Barrs, A'liss Barrs, E. L. Brown, Abram N. Brown, C. R. Bruland, A. 
Bywater, Archie B. Creswell, Daniel Cockle, Christian Clodt, W. V. 
Dixon, W. C. Davis, D. V. Davis, M. P. Dtmn, C. W. Dougherty. Gus- 
tave Draeger, George Dean, Mary F. Ford. T. K. Ford, John B. Folsom, 
Joseph A. Ford, B. F. Gough, Gotlish Gates, John Gerkin, John M. 
Houk,. Chas. Hein, J. T. S. Irons, C. E. Johnson, Andrew Jacobson, 
Louis Jonker, Ole A. Knutson, John Kuch, Peter Klink, Ebbert Kellog, 
H. H. Kieser, Henry Krabbenhoeft, L. D. R. Kruse, Louis Kruse, 
Henry Kasulka, Daniel Kieser, Fred Kieser, Geo. N. Kalb, Stewart King, 
Christian Krohmer, Paul Lillehaug, M. M. Modlin, Stephen H. Morse, 
J. C. Morse, Karl Meiback, E. H. Merville, O. W. Morehead, E. E. 
Nesmith, M. W. Nesmith, John M. Primmer, John Phillips, Fred Prim- 
mer, Wm. Pagenhart. N. G. Rhoades, Jesse Reynolds, Perry Reynolds, 
Peter A. Roti, Jas. W. Simpson. Sr., Jas. W. Simpson, Jr., John Simp- 
son. Francis E. Simpson, Robert H. Simpson, Peter H. Schultz, Geo. A. 
Seekatz. Jacob N. Smith, Christoph Schultz, Wm. P. Schultz, C. A. Sol- 
berg. F. J. Shellmyer. August Schuttpelz, Chas. Shabley, A. J. Solberg, 
Ole J. Solberg, Ole C. Solberg. Ole Swenson, Jonas A. Tyner. Wm. t). 
Towner. Charles Towner. O. L. Tucker, Wm. E. Towner, Wm. Ville- 


brandt, Frank A'oge, Wm. P. Wilson, J. M. Winslow, Chas. Wolk, Henr}- 
Walters, Louis O. Woem, Charles Walters, C. E. Walker, O. J. Walker, 
Wni. Wetzel, L. G. Wilson, W. F. Zimmerman. 

Blaine, (io6 — 63) — H. H. Atwood, Auriel Antonio, Tlios. O. Berg, 
O. G. Berg, E. O. Berg, T. W. Barrs, Jacob Buckawatz. Thomas Biggar, 
Fred E. Cook, Charl Christoferson, A. I. Churchill, Peter Davick, Lester 
Dunton, ' Richard Dalton, James R. Dalton, L. F. Daniel, Washington 
Edd}^, Steffen L. Endal, Sylvanus Freeman, Christian Feistner, Leonard 
Feistner, D. A. Grant, W. A. Grant, Julius Hart, Henry Hart, Ole O. 
Hollebakken, D. R. Hale, Ole Johansen, Knute Knudson, Henry Koons, 
Fred Luker, Nettie Lee, Halver Mekkelson, Battis Miler, Fred W. Myer. 
George Mills, Miss Meyers, A. M. Matthews, Hortense McKune, Eveline 
E. ■NlcKune, Peter Manning, Forest Olin, Bertie Olson, jNIathias Pfaler, 
LaFayette Pearce, Nellie E. Parker, C. W. Parker, Andrew Peterson, 
August Pauloski, Emma Pauloski, Ira Purdy, Richard Price, John Par- 
quet. G. W. Rychman, Antoin Rygnski, Fred K. Strasser, Wm. Stiner, 
Joseph Steichen, Jacob Stromer. Mary Shannon, Henry W. Scott, Kittie 
Shannon, Ole R. Solberg, Ole T. Soarem, Sam K. Swenson, Andrew O. 
Swenson, Herman Schraeder, James Stoddard, John Steiner, W. R. 
Thomas, Mrs. M. M. Teachout, M. L. Thomas, Jonas Velle, Wm. Wus- 
son, Bottis Wecker, John P. Wolf, John M. Wheeler, Peter Wolf, Franz 
H. Wams, Charles C. Wright, G. H. Waldron, Calvin jNL Young, M. 
W. Young, D. W. Young, L A. Young, John Zimmerman, John Steichen, 
Nicholas Steichen. 

Franklin, (107 — 6^) — Magnus Anderson, G. T. Adkinson. Joshua 
Adkinson, Perry Bush, A. J. Bevens, JNIartin Baker, L J. Black, D. Boge, 
G. O. Bergelian, Andrew Berg, W. L Bellows, D. P. Burnison, George 
Bryon, W. N. Brown, Joseph Bouton, Frank Bush, D. M. Black, S. W. 
Boyd, Henry Beogelee, Hugh Confry, R. H. Chase, C. M. Clark, S. D. 
Cation, Joseph Doctor, A. B. Dalrymple, C. G. Evans, H. L. Evans, 
Jacob Etzel, Josephine Englestad, A. L. Eager, Hiram Freeman, R. W. 
Foster, L. E. Franklin, Edward Fitzgibbon, Charles Gurte, Henry Goll, 
Albert Gunderson, J. M. Hardin, J. W. Harden, Knute N. Hovey, La- 
rome Hessdorfer, George Hodges, Anna A. Hoff, Andrew Hessdorfer, 
7. T. Harmon, Geo. Hessdorfer, Wm. J. Houmes, Moses N. Hefte, John 
Hautenbourg, R. Hessdorfer, Frank Janoush, Wm. Karril, Henry Kni- 
criem, John Kogel, John Klemm, Ole C. Lindebak, Gias. E. LaRue, 
Lars Larson, A. Maldren, John Marshall. John McLean, F. W. Martin, 
David McDowall, B. R. McCaul, Wm. McCaul, Ira McCaul, J. A. Mc- 
Caul, Gust Newman, Robert Nisbet, A. M. Nettleton, H. D. Newton, 
C. Nettleton, Herbjorn Ostenson, Theo. Offerman, George O'Brien, 
Walter P. Pierce, Wm. ]M. Posey, Elijah Purdy, ]\Irs. W. Pinkham. 


Henry M. Posey, S. D. Ray, 1. P. Ray, Iver H. Refvrem, E. M. Smith, 
Olena Solberg, James Susha, Michael Selz, Edwin S. Starkey, L. W. 
Surman, Henry Stinkier, John J. Sime, Charles Thorpe, Margaret Trot- 
ter, P. T. Varnum, Thomas M. Whiffin, J. C. Wallace, H. D. Wihte, 
H. A. White, Minnie J. Whiffin, Jas. G. Young, James H. Boyd, J. M. 

Alpena, (io6 — 63) — Wm. H. Arne, William Aitlt, Virgil P. Arne, 
Syver P. Amenson, Albert Ahart, H. M. Arne, W. L. Arnold, J. Barnes, 
John Basse, Wm. Brandenburg, George Brevier, Allen N. Brayton, I. 
W. Black, Chas. Bechtold, Fred Busse, T. Linus Blank, Moses D. Blank, 
Ray Barber, Wm. Bechtold, C. P. Canon, J. A. Calhoun, A. N. Canon,Wm. 
S. Corothers, J. E. Cook, James Conlin, L. W. Castleman, Geo. D. Canon, 
John Campbell, A. B. Davenport, Richard Davenport, Leopold Dietz, 
Wesley Davis, James W. Eastman, Charles Eastman, Daniel Eastman. 
E. M. Eastman, R. J. Eastman, Wm. Forshire, Thomas J. Forbes, R. P. 
F'lagg'^ J- O. Gray, Wm. Girton, H. M. Hall, Joseph P. Harding, Chas. 
G. Haskins, Levi Hamilton, John A. Houmes, Fred Heller, Mathias Hed- 
strom, D. S. Kellogg, Daniel Kint, Henry E. King, W. A. Linn, L. N. 
Looms, Chas. E. Moore, M. M. Moran, Joseph H. May, James Moran, 
Hugh J. Moran, Peter Milroy, B. F. Miller, Patrick McDonald, Joseph 
A. Moore, E. F. Makemson, Dan A. McCoy, Ole Onstad, Andrew On- 
stad, Mary Onstad, Betsey Onstad, Morgan Onstad, Frank B. Phillips, 
Isaac Pierce, B. Quirk, Frank Quirk, Daniel F. Royer, John Smith, Coun- 
cil Sparks, D. N. Smith, Thos. Sheffield, Matt Suerth,Gustave Scheel.Fred 
M. Schemer, And. Sundberg, August Scheel, Joseph Terrell, Warren G. 
Tubbs. O. F. Woodrufif, John R. Woodruff. John Woods. Daniel Web- 
ber, John Wallace, Edson Whitney, Frank O. Wheelihan, M. J. Wolcott, 
J. M. Webber, C. M. Yegge, F. W. Whitney. 

The following is a list of the first settlers in the various townships as 
nearly as we have been able to gather from the memory of the oldest 
inhabitants : 

Logan — W. S. Combs, Jr. 

Crow — Abel Scyoc. 

Marlaur — J. J. Groub. 

Harmony — O. O. England. 

Pleasant — B. F. Crittenden. 

Crow Lake — Albert M. Allyn. 

Anina — Joseph Motl. 

Media — Levi Hain. 

Chery — Chas. Nicholson. 

Dale — C. D. Brown. 

Wessington Springs — Ogden Barrett. 


Viola — Ole C. Solberg. 
Blaine — Joseph Steichen. 
Franklin — Wm. M. Posey. 
Alpena — Wm. H. Arne. 

Chapter II. 

While the villages of Waterbury and Sulphur Springs were striving 
for supremacy as the commercial and political center, settlers were locat- 
ing among the hills and valleys of the adjoining townships. 

Among them were citizens and profesional men of all kinds. In io8 
— 66 there were in 1883 nineteen graduates from eastern colleges, and 
this township was no different from the balance of the county. Then 
there were carpenters, masons, blacksmiths, harness makers, printers, 
painters, who were able to bring to the new settlements all the comforts 
and conveniences of older countries, as fast as their mechanical skill 
could be used. 

Townships 108 — 67, and 107 — 66 were unsurveyed in the 
spring of 1883. Yet the squatters were able by the means of stakes and 
corners of the adjoining townships to select their claims. There were 
but few cases of two persons claiming the same tracts of land. The land 
laws of the United States divide a section into forty-acre tracts, which 
is the smallest legal sub-division. A squatter could only hold 40 acres 
by virtue of his settlement. Still the instances were rare where any por- 
tion of a quarter section was claimed by more than one settler. One 
instance of this kind occurred, however, in 108 — 67. F. M. Cooley, of 
Sulphur Springs, made improvements on the SE of 35, and Joseph 
Roberts settled himself on the same quarter. Robert's shanty was on a 
line on the northwest forty, while Cooley's was in the valley on another 
forty. Both stuck to the claim until the surveyor's plat was filed, when 
Cooley went to the land office at Mitchell first, and made entry for the 
NE, SE and SW of the disputed quarter and also for the SE forty of 
the SW I — 4 of the section. This left Roberts with the northwest forty 
acres and no land adjoining that he considered desirable. He therefore 
abandoned the tract. 

In this township (108 — 67) settlement began on the 6th day of May, 
when J. J. Groub and B. P. Marlar, both from Missouri, squatted on 
their claims. They came from the same county in Missouri, but were 
strangers until they met while looking for land in that township in Jer- 


auld county. Groub settled on 'sections 19 and 20 and Marlar on the 
NW of 4. They were soon followed by W. S. Scofield and his sons 
Frank, Mark and George; John and A. T. Hudson, J. M. Corbin, the 
Bakers, and Zacharia Groub and his daughters, all of them taking claims 
near each other. In section 12 Mr. E. Olcutt made his improvements in 
the forepart of June. In Mr. Olcutt's house, his little daughter Fanny, 
was born in the month of August of that year, being the first child born 
in that township. 

Among the people who came to Jerauld county in 1883, were the 
Vessey brothers, who arrived at White Lake on the 17th day of May. 
They immediately began to transport their goods to the SE of section 
12 — 107 — 66, upon which R. S. Vessey established the rights of a squat- 
ter. They arrived at their destination on the morning of the 18th of 
May and began the construction of a "claim shanty." By night the 
structure was completed and the men were housed in one end of the build- 
ing and the horses in the other. The season that followed was a strenuous 
one. One hundred and thirty days were put in on the road between the 
claim and the town of White Lake. Though the air was full of politics, 
the future governor of the state was too busy getting established in his 
home to give the subject any attenion. By fall a new house had been 
ereced, a horse stable built and sheep shed, 18 feet wide by 240 feet long 
had been completed for the 600 head of sheep brought out from W^iscon- 
sin by Mr. S. H. Albert in August. 

On the morning of April 5th of that year a gentleman with his wife 
and children and his sister engaged a team at Plankinton to take them 
to Wessington Springs. They made the start early for they did not wish 
to hurry on the way — and they did not. About an hour after the horse 
team started a man left the station with a yoke of oxen, following the 
same road. Mile after mile the two teams traveled along the wearisome 
way. Other teams came up behind the ox team, turned out, passed with 
a cheery word to the driver, and soon after drove by the horse team. 
The distance between the ox team and the horses grew perceptibly 
shorter. The boy driving the horses began to slap the animals with the 
lines and whip and say "giddap." After a while the man with the ox 
team turned his cattle to the side of the road and for some time the two 
traveled side by side. Then the oxen began to draw ahead, and at length 
turned into the road and went on. In vain the gentleman riding behind 
the horses suggested to the boy that he might hurry a little, and in vain 
the boy slapped and cried "giddap." The ox team kept gaining and 
finally disappeared in the distance. After dark the horse team arrived at 
the residence of Rev. J. G. Campbell on the SW of 17 — 107 — 64. 

Mr. Campbell came out and inquired who they were and what they 


wanted. Being informed that the party consisted of Rev. S. F. Huntley 
and family on their way to the residence of Rev. A. B. Smart, he took 
his lantern and piloted them across the gully and over the hills until 
the light in Smart's house could be seen and there the weary passengers 
alighted about lo o'clock in the evening. 

In June following ]\Ir. Huntley built a sod house on the NW of 4 — - 
107 — 66 and with his family became a squatter on the "unsurveyed." Al- 
though in after years he served his county with distinction in the con- 
stitutional convention and state senate, he never forgot the wearisome 
journey from Plankinton to Wessington Springs when he "just moved 
into" Jerauld county. 

On the nth day of April, 1883, five men stopped near where the 
townships of Media, Anina, Crow Lake and Pleasant are located. One 
of them was Theodore Dean, who came in a covered wagon, which he 
placed on the SW of 30 — 107 — 65, and in which he lived until in the 
fall, when he built a shanty. Another of the party was J. T. Ferguson, 
who at once built a shanty with a board roof on the NE of 6 — 106 — 65, 
where he lived and still lives. The shanty, but built with a shingle roof, 
is still on the place. John Conley, another of the number, built a shanty 
on the NE of 2 — 106 — 66, while his brother, Joseph Conley, made his 
improvements on the SW of 26 — 107 — 66. John W. Todd, the other 
member of the party, had brought his family with him and put up a tent 
for a dwelling and lived in that during the summer on the SE of 25 — 
108 — 66. His wife, Mrs. Minnie Todd, was the first woman resident of 
that township. Dean is one of the commissioners of the county, and 
Ferguson is the clerk of courts. 

Nearly all the land in 107 — 66 was soon taken and the people began 
the process of getting acquainted. This is soon accomplished in frontier 
settlements, where each must help the other. 

Samuel Marlenee, a skillful carpenter, who settled on the SW of 5 
was in great demand in assisting to buold the shanties that sprung up as 
by magic everywhere. So fast they grew that the next spring 'Mr. 
Huntley from his residence on the NW of 4, counted 84 dwellings. It 
is impossible to give particular mention of each settler, but we must 
refer the reader to the list already published. 

In August the people had become so well settled that they began to 
take steps toward a more organized condition of society. On the 5th 
of that month a Sunday school and church service was commenced at 
the residence of Chauncey Barber in the southern part of the county. 
A minister from White Lake was present and preached to the settlers. 
Mr. Barber was elected superintendent of the Sunday school. O. E. 


Gaffin, assistant; T. H. Null of 106—66, was made secretary and ]\Irs. 
Moulton, also of 106 — 66, treasurer. 

•In October, 1883, the government established a mail route for a 
weekly service between White Lake and Elmer with a postofface at the 
residence of G. W. Stetson with that gentleman as postmaster and another 
at Crow Lake with Albert M. Allyon as postmaster. 

The Stetson postoffice was kept in a dugout on the NE of 34 — 107— 
66, which was Mr. Stetson's dwelling place. 

The mail carrier over the new line was Mr. R. Y. Hazard of 106 — 66; 
his compensation being $312.00 for performing that service from October 
15th, 1883, to June 30th, 1884. 

The mail facilities for the new county had now been very much in- 
creased. A line was established during the summer running from ■Miller 
to Kimball via Sulphur Springs, with George N. Price as carrier ; another 
from Elmer to Miller with A. B. Smart as carrier. The Plankinton line 
was extended to Huron and the service increased to twice a week on the 
first of March, 1883. Jack Sutley, who had carried the mail between 
Plankinton and Elmer from the time the line was established July i, 
1882, continued to drive that route until April 3, 1883, when he sold it 
to Bert Orr, who was then living at Plankinton. The offices in the 
southern part of this line in Jerauld county were Parsons, Gordon and 

In November a postoffice was located on the NE of 7 — 107 — 65, 
named Templeton with J. N. Cross as postmaster. This office was sup- 
plied by the Elmer and White Lake line. 

The line from Mitchell to Fort Thompson was still continued, but 
the service was anything but satisfactory. 

During the summer of 1883 the people of 108 — 66, among whom were 
a goodly number of Quakers, progressed as rapidly as their neighbors 
on the south. Nearly all the land was taken, and a large acreage broken 
up. Along in September or October C. G. Smith, A. G. Snyder, Wil- 
liam Marshall, I. N. Rich, O. J. Marshall, Peter Wilfring and C. W. 
Mills organized a Sunday school at the residence of the latter on the 
SW of 15. This organization is still in existence. At first the meetings 
alternated between Mr. ]\Iills' home and that of Mr. Wilfring on section 
22, accompanied by preaching by Air. and Mrs. Huntley and William 


Chapter 12. 

One morning in the latter part of April, 1882, a party consisting of 
John and Peter Primmer and W. B. Wilson set out from the south part 
of 106 — 64 to meet Fred Kieser at Huron, who was coming over the C. 
& N. W. with 300 or 400 head of sheep from Iowa. They arrived at 
Huron that evening and found Kieser there with the sheep unloaded and 
ready for an early start in the morning. He had brought with him a few- 
rods of portable fencing that he put on a wagon to take along for use 
as a coral at night while on the way from the station to his claim in 
section 35 — 106 — 64. On the wagon with the fencing he put the pro- 
visions for the party during the trip. 

At Huron they met Charles Walters who was also going to his claim 
in section 22 — 106 — 64. Walters, as a matter of company, decided to go 
along with Kieser's party. 

All being ready the sheep were started in charge of Mr. Kieser, Ben 
Wilson and John Primmer, leaving Pete Primmer to follow on with the 
team, fencing and provisions. 

It was at the time of year when the new grass was just starting and 
the sheep were inclined to straggle a good deal. They were finally 
brought out of the town and started in a southwesterly direction. The 
drivers had gone on with the flock of sheep until near noon, but the team 
with the fencing and food for dinner did not appear. Kieser became 
anxious about the missing wagon and driver and rode back to the town 
to see ^\■hat was the trouble while Ben and John moved on with the 
straggling herd. 

Back in Huron Pete leisurely put the team to the wagon, knowing 
that a f]ock of sheep move slowly, and thinking he would soon overtake 
them. AA'hen everything was ready he drove out of town on the road 
he supposed the sheep had taken. In those days the trails ran everywhere 
without regard to section line, for there was not a fence between Huron 
and Plankinton. Pete got on to one of these trails, or roads, and fol- 
lowed on, expecting every moment to come in sight of the moving herd. 
As he did not come up with the drivers as soon as he thought to. he 
concluded they had gone faster than usual and whipped up the team. 
On and on he went, following in a direction toward home as nearly as 
he could judge, but no sheep could he find. 

Mr. Kieser reached Huron in search of the team and wagon and 
learned that Pete had gone after the herd. The thought at once occur- 
red to him that the team was on the wrong road and immediately set off 
— on another road of course — to overtake Pete and bring him around to 
the boys who he knew by this time must be getting hungry. Away he 


went, mile after mile, but no Pete could he see. At length he gave up 
the search and returned to the herd and the hungry drivers. All the 
afternoon they kept the sheep moving on in the direction of their desti- 
nation, constantly scanning the surrounding prairie in the hope that Pete 
would appear with the food and the coral fence. 

Just before dark they came to a claim shanty and camped for the 
night. The people who occupied the shanty were hospitable and the 
party obtained a good supper and then took turns through the night in 
herding the sheep. The next morning after a hearty breakfast the flock 
was again put in motion and the long w-earisome journey continued — 
seeming doubly long for there was not another dwelling on the way. 
Still the missing wagon did not come in sight and with nothing to 
eat or drink, except the water in the lake beds that they passed, the boys 
and men trudged on till night. About sundown they arrived at the bank 
of a small lake west of where Alpena now stands and again camped. 
The air was chilly and no shelter to be seen. 

From among the things in his wagon Mr. Walters brought out a 
single blanket, a spade and a loaf of bread. The loaf was divided among 
them and then with the spade they dug a hole about a foot deep and six 
feet square. Into this they piled a lot of dry grass, that with their pocket 
knives they cut from the lake bed, and all but one lay down under cover 
of the one blanket to get what rest and sleep they could. The one stayed 
up to watch the sheep for two hours when he changed places with one 
of those in the hole. They slept but little, but got some rest. It was 
tiresome to lie in one position, but were packed so closely that all must 
turn at the same time. Lying "spoon fashion," when one would get tired 
he would cry out, "prepare to spoon, spoon," all would turn. 

But the longest night has a morning and the longest journey has an 
end. At daylight on the first day of May they were up and on the 
journey again. That night they reached home and glad enough to get 
there. Pete had arrived before them. He had wandered about on the 
prairie in search of the flock until all hope of finding it was gone and 
then, after spending one night in the wagon, drove home. 

On the 31st day of May, 1882, a party composed of James O. Gray, 
Edson Whitney, J. Bridgeman, J. P. Harding and Mrs. Roxy A. Bartlett, 
mother-in-law of Bridgeman and Harding, crossed the east line of 
Aurora county near the southeast corner of section i — 107 — 63. Mrs. 
Bartlett had previously filed a preemption claim on the SW of 30 — 108 — 
63, and Mr. Harding had placed the same kind of a filing on the north- 
west quarter of the same section. While in Mitchell to get lumber and 
her household furniture she and her son-in-law, met Gray and Whitney, 
who were going up the James River Valley to look for land. An ar- 


rangement was made with Mr. Gray, who had a good span of horses, 
to take a load to the Bartlett claim. 

Soon after crossing the county line they arrived at the residence of 
W. M. Posey, who with his family, had located a few days before on 
the NE of 2 in 107 — 63. The Poseys were then the only family in what 
is now Franklin township. After a few minutes spent in greetings and 
inquiries the party passed on taking a course west by north. On the NW 
of 33 — 108 — 63, Mr. Gray made a slight improvement, as notice to any 
who might come after him that he had selected that quarter as his claim. 

At the SW of 32 — 108 — 63 Mr. Whitney made his selection and the 
party went on to the spot, where ]\Irs. Bartlett wanted her claim shanty 
built. It was afternoon when they reached he Bartlett claim and the 
weather indicated a storm. A temporary shelter was constructed for 
the household goods and in it the whole party took refuge from the rain 
that came with the night. 

The number of settlers in townships 107 and 108 — 63 was small at 
that time. ]\Ir. Posey with his family was busy getting a rude shelter 
on section 2 — 107 — 63, and in digging a well close by. The shanty was 
14x16 of rough boards with a shed roof. The covering of the shanty 
was made of 16 foot boards which projected about 18 inches over the 
north side. The well was dug down to a depth of about 8 feet, but not 
finding water they concluded to use the hole as a place in which to keep 
milk and butter. For convenience in getting out and into this improvised 
outdoor cellar, some steps were dug from one side down into it. 

In the Posey household at that time there were eleven persons and 
as it was impossible to make separate beds for all one long bunk was 
built across one end of the shanty which served as a brace for the walls 
and a sleeping place for the whole family. 

On the SE of 5 — 107 — 63, a gentleman named I. P. Ray had built a 
commodious house one and one-half story high, but his family had not 
yet arrived. 

In sections 3 and 10 of 108 — 63 W. H. Arne and Richard Davenport 
had located, while Albert Ahart had built a house on the SE of 29, and 
August Scheel on the SE of 32. The last two settlers had put up their 
buildings in February. 

The coming of the party mentioned at the l^eginning of this chapter 
was a welcome addition to the settlement. ]\Ir. Gray had provided him- 
self with a tent and in it he and his family took up their abode. 

By helping each other all were soon comfortably housed in their 
temporary quarters. 

The 24th of June was an intensely hot day and the sun set in a bank 
of clouds that threatened a severe storm before morning. Each of the 


settlers kept close watch of the weather until toward midnight the clouds 
disappeared and all retired to rest. 

About two o'clock in the morning- a terrific wind storm struck the 
sleeping settlement. Ahart's house was literally crushed to splinters. 
The roof of Mrs. Bartlett's house was scattered over the prairie and the 
family exposed to the rain and hail that soon followed. The Gray tent 
was blown from its fastenings and whirled away in the darkness. The 
rain and hail began to come and getting a wide board that had been 
used by the family as a table, Mr. and Mrs. Gray held it in a slanting 
position over the terrified children, until the violence of the storm was 

Mr. Ray, whose faniily had come on a few days before felt the house 
yielding to the fury of the wind and catching up the children he and his 
wife rushed for the protection of the sod stable that stood near. When 
about half way between the two buildings he heard the house behind 
him crush to pieces and by the flare of the lightning he saw the roof of 
the sod stable go off with the wind. He stopped and for a minute braced 
against the wind while he thought what best to do. By the light of the 
thunder bolts he saw that the roof of the house had settled down onto 
the lower floor and seemed to be intact and holding together. It ap- 
peared to be the safest place and under it he hustled the family. 

When 'the Posey family heard the storm coming they ran to the well 
that had been used for an outdoor cellar and crowded into that for 
shelter from the wind. The roof of the shanty soon disappeared and 
then the rain and hail came in torrents. The steps down into the cellar 
made a ditch for the water and soon the well was filling. They helped 
each other out of the hole and then ran to the walls of the shant}- for 
protection. The bunk had braced the walls sufficiently to keep them up- 
right and under the bunk the whole family gathered and remained until 

In the morning the settlers hurried about from one family to another 
to ascertain what damage had been done and who if any had been hurt. 
It was found that no one had been seriously injured, but the stock had 
been scattered. Nothing in the history of the county is more firmly fixed 
in the memory of the settlers of '82 than the storm in the night of June 24. 

Nearly all of the settlers put in a few acres of sod crop and gathered 
a good harvest. In September a prairie fire swept over the settlement 
destroying a stable for Mr. Kellogg, who had settled on the NW of 
31 — 108 — 63, and burned all the hay that Gray had made. Mr. Posey 
lost a part of his hay and R. J. Eastman lost all. 


Chapter 13. 

Early in the spring of 1882, Joseph and John Steichen located in the 
central part of township 106 — 63, in sections 20 and 21, put up sod houses 
and made the beginning of what have since become some of the best 
farms in the county. They were soon followed by Andrew and Samuel 
Swenson, who settled in sections 5 and 9. These four settlers were in 
time to break up a few acres of prairie and each raised a fair crop of 
sod corn. 

Later in the season, J. P. Parquet, C. C. Wright, Richard Dalton, 
John j\I. Wheeler and Thos. Biggar found land that suited them and 
became early pioneers of that township. x-Vll these settlers except Mr. 
Wright started their Dakota settlements with sod buildings. 

The winter of 1882 — 83 was about an average Dakota winter, and the 
pioneers found plenty to occupy their time. 

In February, 1883, Rev. J. G. Campbell, who was hauling building 
material from Mitchell to his farm near Wessington Springs, was caught 
by a snow storm and stayed over Sabbath with Mr. Wright. It was 
suggested that religious services be held and notice was accordingly sent 
out through the neighborhood. A few of the settlers gathered in re- 
sponse to the call and the first sermon in township 106 — 63 was preached 
by Mr. Campbell in Mr. Wright's house from the following text: 

"A bruised reed shall he not break and the smoking flax shall he not 
quench. He shall bring forth judgment unto truth." — Isa. 42:3. 

Geo. W. Ryckman came to 106 — 63 in April, 1883, and built a frame 
shanty on the NW of 5. At that time there was the residence of but one 
actual settler in sight from Ryckman's dwelling which stood on a little 
knoll. On the 4th of July foiling quite a number of the newcomers gath- 
ered at Ryckman's to celebrate the day. Then, from the place of cele- 
bration, 72 residences were in sight. A few were frame shanties, many 
were of sod and some were ''dug-outs." 

One morning in the summer of 1883 a lady entered the Liverpool 
office of one of the great Trans-Atlantic steamship companies and bought 
a ticket for herself and six children — all boys — to Huron, D. T. Her 
luggage consisted of eleven large boxes packed almost to bursting. The 
trip was a nerve-racking one, with all the boys, each one curious to see 
every part of the ship. But the voyage was made without incident 
worthy of note until the ship, the "City of Berlin," arrived in the harbor 
of New York. 

There the customs officers, the terror of all ocean travelers, came 
aboard. Now there is as much difiference between revenue officers, as 
there is between civilized people and barbarians. Some would roughly 


break open a box or bail of goods, dump out the contents, scatter the 
articles about on the floor and after making a mark on the box to indi- 
cate that it contained no dutiable things, leave the mess for the owner to 
repack as best he or she could. 

The English lady stood for some time watching the officers as they 
emptied and ransacked the bundles, bags, boxes and trunks of the other 
passengers. What would she do if they emptied all her luggage and 
spread it about like that ' She thought she could never get it stowed 
again. She soon noticed the difference in the methods of the govern- 
ment agents and picking out a man with a kindly face she approached 
him and holding out the keys to her packages told him she was in a 
hurry, that she had six little boys to look after, and wouldn"t he please 
inspect her goods. 

"Madam," he said, "do all these packages belong to you?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Well," he said musingly, "you do not look like a smuggler, so just 
open this box first. Now put your hand down on the inside clear to the 
bottom and pass it around the box. There now lock it up again and we 
will peep into the others." So they went through all the boxes, the of- 
ficer putting a chalk mark on each one as she locked it. In a few hours 
they were on the train with no more danger of the little fellows falling 
overboard, and if she could keep them together until they reached their 
destination she would think herself lucky indeed. 

On the third day out from New^ York they arrived at Huron and 
made inquiry for a gentleman named Reed, to whom they had been 
directed. Mr. Reed being found, for whom the lady's husband was at 
work she requested that gentleman to please inform Mr. Thomas Shef- 
field that his wife and family had arrived. The husband soon appeared, 
and a few weeks later all were settled on their homestead, the SW of 
22 — 1 08 — 63. 

At the residence of August Scheel on the NE of 32 — 108 — 6^ a. 
daughter was born on the 12th of December, 1882, and all the new- 
comers, who settled in that vicinity, must go and see the first native born 
in the township. The little lady grew to womanhood in that township^ 
and now bears the name of Mrs. William Ahart. 

The spring of 1883 brought many new settlers to the townships in 
range 63. All was hustle and hurry, the land must be selected and a 
trip made to the Mitchell land office to make a filing. Then lumber and 
other material brought for the claim buildings, for though the buildings 
were made of sod stripped from the prairie, the roofs, doors and window 
frames must be made of wood. 

These primitive structures answered the purpose on the prairie that 


the log houses did in the forest settlements of the wooded states farther 

In ]\lay, 1883, T. L. Blank and his sister, Sadie, (now Airs. L. W. 
Castleman of Alpena) arrived from Iowa. Mr. Blank at once built a 
sod house on his claim, the SW of 27 — 108 — 63. Other settlers had 
come and more were arriving every day. There were a number of chil- 
dren in the neighborhood, and Miss Blank determined to organize a 
.<chool, using her brother's sod residence for a school house. This school 
was commenced about the loth of June, 1883, and in it were gathered 
Elva, I\Iary, Ella and Clara Eastman, Ira and Jessie Posey. 

About the same time that Miss Blank began her day school a Sun- 
day school was organized at the residence of Chas. Eastman which was 
named Plainview Union Sunday School. Mr. Blank, wdio had been 
most energetic in its organization, was made superintendent, and Mrs. 
Chas. Eastman organist. 

About the same time Liberty Sunday School was organized at the 
residence of I. P. Ray in 107 — 63. 

Religious services, conducted by Rev. A. B. Smart, were held in con- 
nection with the Sunday schools. 

Chapter 14. 

In the early autumn of 1883 some of the people of township 108 — 65 
( Chery) determined to provide school privileges for their children. Mr. 
M. E. Small furnished a building, located on his homestead, the SE of 
22, and Miss Sarah Johnson was employed as teacher. The school con- 
tinued for several months and was attended by the following named 
pupils: Chas. Aliller, May T^Iiller, Lucy Hill, Phoebe Hill, Ole Olson, 
Joe Thornton, !Mary Johnson, Maggie Johnson. 

The building in which this school was taught was afterward used by 
Mr. Small for a granary and still is in use on the same farm which is 
now owned by Mr. R. W. Johnson. 

The teacher. Miss Johnson, afterward taught several terms in the 
public schools of the township and then married Mr. Owen Williams of 
Wessington Springs township. She died near Wessington Springs a few 
years later. 

In township 108 — 65 occurred the first death in Jerauld county. A 
little child of Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Bolton died after a short illness and 
was buried on their homestead, the NW quarter of section 32. The only 


cemetery in the county at that time was on the SW of 29 — 107 — 67, near 
Sulphur Springs. That was too far away and so, with the sympathetic 
aid of the neighbors the Httle one was laid near the prairie home and 
there it rests today. 

On the 25th day of July, 1883, Mr. Jas. F. Bolton, who owned the 
NE of 31 — 108 — 65, employed Mr. H. J. Wallace, a surveyor, and platted 
a townsite, which he named "Alonclova." He afterward changed the 
named to "Bolton," but he never recorded the plat nor sold any lots. 

Benjamin Drake took the SE of 6 — 108 — 65 as a pre-emption claim 
in the spring of 1883. He put up a frame shanty and purchased a break- 
ing plow, which nearly exhausted his ready cash. He raised a few acres 
of flax and by the first of September was in shape to go comfortably 
through the winter. But that morning he met with a disaster that 
changed the whole aspect of affairs for him. He had risen early as 
usual and built a fire in his cook stove. He then took the water pail 
and went to the well, which he had dug about forty rods from the house. 
As he started back with the pail of water a dense volume of smoke at 
the shanty told him it was on fire. The old man hurried as fast as pos- 
sible, but before he reached the building the flames were bursting from 
the roof and sides. He lost all his outfit and had to build a sod house in 
which to spend the winter. He and his family worked hard for several 
years, but finally gave it up and moved to Minnesota, where they still live. 

In the western part of 107 — 65 a Sunday school was organized with 
26 members at the residence of Mr. Kendall on section 5, ^Nlay 27th, 
1883. ]\I. D. Crow was elected superintendent, ^Ir. Kendall, assistant 
superintendent. Mrs. E. L. DeLine, secretary and treasurer, and R. S. 
Vessey. librarian. This organization was kept up until fall when it was 
merged in the Union Sunday school, held at the residence of Mr. J. N. 
Cross on the XE of 7. 

With the coming of spring in 1883 Wessington Springs began to 
shown signs of life. 

The territorial legislature that closed on the 9th of March had passed 
a bill enabling the people locafed in the townships numbered 106, 107 and 
108 of Aurora county to make a new county of the townships described 

At once interest centered about the new town located at the big spring. 
The few residences in the vicinity were thronged with settlers and pros- 
pectors. The dwellings of Hiram Blowers, R. S. Bateman and A. B. 
Smart, being nearest the townsite, became almost per force, regular 
boarding houses. 

C. W. McDonald and W. I. Bateman formed a partnership under the 
firm name of McDonald & Bateman, and began the publication of a 


weekly newspaper, named "The Wessington Springs Herald."' The first 
issue published on the 24th day of March was printed in the office of 
the Aurora County Standard, then located at Plankinton. The next two 
issues were also printed in Plankinton, and then the Herald printing office 
was located in a room in R. S. Bateman's house a few rods south of the 
Wessington Springs townsite. The first issue printed in the new location 
was run through the press on the 28th day of April, 1883, and contained 

15 quires of paper. 

According to the law creating the new county, it could not take 
effect until the people residing in the proposed county should say by their 
votes that they desired the new political organization with the name as 
fixed by the legislature. The vote was taken on the 17th day of April 
and Jerauld county was born that day. 

There has never been a time when the Dakotan has not felt an in- 
terest in politics. At this election one of the polling places was at the 
residence of I. P. Ray, in Franklin township. The result of the vote in 
that precinct was carried by L. W. Castleman that night to the residence 
of H. J. Wallace in Chery township. 

On the day before the first issue of the Herald was printed in Mr. 
Bateman's house, a real estate firm by the name of Reed & Akin, began 
the construction of an office building on the south side of Main street, 
a short distance west of where the State Bank building now stands. It 
v/as moved across to the north side of the street a few weeks later and 
occupied by Drake & Magee, after Reed & Akin left the town, which 
occurred about the first of June. The Reed & Akin office was the first 
building to remain permanently on the townsite and at the time of its 
construction it w^as the only building on the original plat of the town. It 
now stands back of the office building of Arisman & Wallace and is used 
by that firm as a private office. 

A few days later Mr. A. R. Powell, then a squatter in township 107 
— 66, hauled a load of lumber from Planktinton for Lew Hoes and a 
Mr. Phillips, who formed a partnership and with the load of lumber 
erected a rough board shanty, with a board shed roof. The building was 

16 feet square, and stood a little north and east of where the Oliver 
Hotel now stands. 

In this building Hoes & Phillips opened a stock of groceries, which 
had been brought by Powell with the lumber for the building. This was 
the beginning of the commercial life of Wessington Springs. 

A day or two after Hoes & Phillips put up their grocery "store," 
Mr. A. J. Wentworth built a shanty about where the stable of the M. 
E. parsonage is located. This building remained on the townsite but a 

" 57 

short time. Mr. Wentworth moved it to his claim on the NE of 15 — 

During the same month (April) the townsite company at that time 
composed of C. S. Burr, of Mitchell, and D. A. Scott, of Rockford, la., 
began active work to set the town on the way to a vigorous growth. A 
hotel was a first necessity and they commenced bringing lumber for that, 
purpose from Plankinton, then the nearest railroad point. It was a long 
haul, the roads were bad, and no bridges between Plankinton and the 
Springs. The worst place on the road was at the crossing of the west 
branch of the Firesteel creek in Aurora county. The water was high 
and the creek bed soft. 

To remedy this difficulty Mr. Scott brought out some timbers and 
planks and built a bridge over the stream. That was a great convenience 
while it lasted, but a few days after the bridge was constructed a heavy 
rain flooded the stream and the bridge disappeared completely and for- 
ever so far as Air. Scott was concerned. 

About the last of -April a couple of gentlemen arrived from Ludlow, 
A''ermont, to look at the new town with a view to building a hotel. Mr. 
Scott at once offered them the lumber that he had brought, at what it 
cost him, and also ofifered to make them a present of the tree lots on 
the corner where the First National Bank now stands. The offer was 
accepted and work on the foundation of the hotel commenced at once. 

By the first of May the cellar was ready for the stone masons to begin 
la^ang wall. Quite a crowd was standing about when Mr. Mark Scofield 
rolled the first stone to its place in a bed of mortar and one of the by- 
standers exclaimed, "By Halifax! that's the first stone laid in mortar in 
the county of Jerauld." From that time the workmen rapidly pushed 
the work to completion. 

On the 13th of April Mr. R. S. Bateman, who had been in Wiscon- 
sin soliciting funds for the erection of the church building, returned to 
the Springs and reported a successful trip. The matter being called to 
the attention of the townsite company, Messrs. Burr & Scott at once 
contributed five hundred dollars towards building the new church and 
also promised the society a block of lots upon which to build the edifice, 
a promise that was fufilled as soon as the preparations were completed. 

April 22, 1883, two young men, quiet and unpretentious in demeanor, 
came into the little village at the foot of the hills, and soon became a part 
of the business life of the community. One of them, Mr. F. Drake, re- 
mained but a short time. The other, Mr. E. L. Smith, has lived in Wes- 
sington Springs more years than any other man. No man's handiwork 

has been felt in the now thriving city, to a greater extent than his. A 
carpenter by trade, Mr. Smith has been one of the few indespensible 
citizens of the place. 

Chapter 15. 

Alay 5th, 1883, Mr. T. R. Dunn, of the firm of Dunn & Hackett, 
arrived in Wessington Springs to prepare for opening a real estate office. 
Air. Hackett remained in -Mitchell a few' dc.ys to close up some business 
he had there and to get a supply of blanks and others things essential for 
the office. In a few days the new firm procured a building that had been 
erected a short distance east of town and moved it onto one of the lots 
where Shull's drug store now stands. On ]\Iay 19th their professional 
card first appeared in the Wessington Springs Herald. It was the begin- 
ning of an office maintained by Mr. Hackett for a number of years. 
The building was afterward moved across the street and now occupies 
a place in the rear of Hawthorne's restaurant. 

About a month later, June i6th, 1883. Drake & Alagee also opened a 
law and real estate office in the building put up by Reed & Akin. 

]\Ir. Phillips remained in the grocery business with Lew Hoes but a 
short time and about the first of May sold his' interest, which was small, 
to C. H. and II. C. Stephens. The new firm conducted the business, 
under the name of Hoes & Stephens for a few days and then Mr. Hoes 
being compelled to go to Iowa for an indefinite stay, he sold his share 
to his partners, who continued the business for several months as H. C. 
& C. H. Stephens. 

In the month of Alay Stephens Bros, began the construction of a 
store building, one and one-half stories high, that occupied their time 
during the following two months. By the fourth of July their building 
was so far along that they began selling goods over rough board counters. 
The upper story was made into one room, \vhich was used as a public 

When Stephens' Hall was completed the church services were held in 
it instead of at Mrs. Riddle's house on section 8. Until the building of 
the First M. E. church the room over Stephens' store was the place for 
all public gatherings. 

Immediately after Dunn & Hackett placed their office on the south 
side of Main street Sam Arnold and Will Housel l^egan to put up a store 


building- on one -of the vacant lots west of the present site of the State 

During the first week in June, 1883, E. B. Orr, who had purchased 
of Jack Sutley the stage line from Planktinton to Huron, began the erec- 
tion of a livery stable in Wessington Springs near the present location of 
the residence of Geo. N. Price. While Mr. Orr was building his stable 
Silas Kinney was at work on a store and residence which still stands 
opposite Short's notion store. The Kinney building was completed and a 
flour and feed store opened in it the first week in July. 

In the meantime work on the hotel was being rapidly pushed and on 
the 4th day of July the building was opened to the public. The following 
is an accurate description of the well known hostelry: 

The main building was two full stories in height and was 24 — 60 feet 
in size. Above the second story was an attic, in which beds and cots 
were placed for use when the rooms below were all occupied, which was 
generally the case. The second story was divided into single and double 
sleeping rooms, so that with the use of beds and cots in the attic about 
seventy-five persons could be cared for at one time. At the rear end of 
the main building was the kitchen, 12x24 f^^t in size. In the southeast 
corner of the main building and adjoining the kitchen, was the dining 
room and fronting on Main street was the ladies' sitting room, 11x20. 
The hotel office, 11x30, was in the northwest corner. The hall and stair- 
way was located between the office and the ladies' sitting room, with 
doors leading into both and opening onto the Main street through the 
front door. A side door opening on to 2nd street was near the northwest 
corner of the office room. Two more sleeping rooms, designed for the 
use of the proprietors, were situated west of the dining room and south 
of the office. The hotel was heated with P. P. Stewart hard coal burners 
in the office and sitting room. 

Connected with the hotel by a covered passage, in true New England 
style, was the hotel barn, 22x50, with an addition for stable room, 

While the hotel was being built Air. Applegate, of Mitchell, put up 
and inclosed the building in later years known as the Carlton House. 

In the month of June and the forepart of July the proprietors of the 
Wessington Springs Herald had a force of carpenters at work putting 
up the building used afterward by them as a printing office and bank. 
July 2 1 St the Herald was issued from its new office for the first time. 

Nearly all of the lumber used in the construction of the various build- 
ings in Wessington Springs and vicinity was brought with teams from 
Plankinton. In many places, where the trail crossed the streams and 
draws it was in dangerous condition. Especially was this the case at the 


crossing of what was then termed "The Long- Gully" on the east line of 
section i8 — 107 — 64. 

On the 15th of May, 1S83, Mr. H. Blowers, who had been elected a 
road supervisor before Jerauld county was born, called on the neighbors 
and spent the day in rolling stone into the streams and making it passable. 
That was probably the first "road work" done in the new county. 

About the first of June word was received that the lumber for the 
church had arrived at Wessington station on the C. & N. W. Ry. Hiram 
Blowers and R. S. Bateman at once went to that place to receive and 
unload the material. They met a great many people going to or from the 
station, and among them Mr. Jefferson Sickler, then living at Wessington 
Springs. Mr. Sickler had wath him a wagon and a yoke of oxen and 
they induced him to haul a load of the lumber home for them. That was 
the first load of material hauled for the church in Wessington Springs. 
On the 5th of June Blowers and Bateman came in with two more loads. 
The church building committee then got together and selected the block 
upon which the Willard Hotel is situated as the site for the church. There 
the lumber was unloaded and preparations made to commence work on 
the foundation, but at the request of the townsite company the location 
was changed to the block south and to it the society received a deed from 
the company. 

It was a long ways to haul the lumber and the roads, in places, almost 
impassable. Yet the frame of the structure was up and inclosed in July 
and on the 26th of August the cornerstone was laid. The ceremony of 
laying the stone was conducted by the pastor, Rev. J. W. P. Jordan, as- 
sisted by Rev. J. G. Campbell. The sermon was preached by Rev. W. 
H. Hoadley of Huron. 

A "mite society" had been organized by the ladies of the church and 
on the evening of the 29th of August they held, in the church building, 
their first sociable. 

In July Mr. Chas. E. Bourne, of Boston, Mass., purchased a one-fourth 
interest in the townsite, and was henceforth identified with the growth 
and development of the town. 

In the early spring Jefferson Sickler put up a rough board shanty, 
16x32. a little south of where the Kinney store was afterward built, and 
E. L. Smith and F. Drake later put up another small shanty west of the 
creek and both of these buildings were used as temporary residences. 
But the first permanent residence in the town was built by R. M. Magee, 
in August, on the north side of the creek. That little house is still stand- 
ing on the ground where it was built and is a part of the residence of 
Mr. James Barr. 

During the same month, August, J. H. Woodburn and L. H. Tarble 


"built a blacksmith shop where F. M. Brown's livery barn stands, near the 
alley north of Vessey's store. 

Two lots east of Morse & La Point's store, E. H. Ford built a small 
room that was used for millinery, restaurant, printing office and other 
purposes in the years that followed. 

In November the school house, built by subscription, was completed.- 

The post office building, west of the Herald office, was completed the 
fore part of November, and on the 5th of the month Postmaster Barrett 
moved the office into it from his farm at the mouth of the gulch. 

At the same time J. F. Ford and I. N. Rich began the construction of 
a law and real estate office, which is now used by Hermsen for a barber 

Chapter 16. 

But other matters besides the erection of buildings occupied the atten- 
tion of the people of the town of Wessington Springs and the county 

Among the immigrants to the new county were a large number of the 
survivors of the Civil war. Of these veterans fifteen met in Stephens' 
Hall in Wesington Springs on the i6th of June, 1883, to take steps 
toward the organization of a G. A. R. Post. J. M. Spears was chairman 
of the meeting. The other present were P. R. Bafrettt, C. W. P. Os- 
good, W. T. Hay, C. T. Hall, T. Y. Donovan, H. C. Stephens, C. D. 
Brown, J. H. Woodburn, J. G. Good. Wm. Taylor, C. H. Stephens, Jno. 
R. Francis, Jas. T. Ferguson, and C. M. Chery. At this meeting it was 
decided to organize a G. A. R. Post, to be named in honor of Gen. E. O. 
C. Ord, of Pennsylvania. A charter was applied for and granted. The 
organization was completed on the 25th of August with H. C. Stephens, 
commander, and C. W. Hill, adjutant. 

One of the things most desired by the people at the Springs was 
school privileges for the children. To meet this necessity Miss Jeanette 
Richardson organized a school in September, which she taught several 
weeks. The author has been unable to learn in what room this school 
was held, nor who were the pupils that attended it. 

For several years the people of the Territory of Dakota had been 
asking congress for division into North and South Dakota and the ad- 
mission of both into the Union as states. In the spring of 1883 a large 
-number of the advocates of division and admission living in the south 


part of the territory, assembled at Huron and issued a call for a consti- 
tutional convention to meet in the city of Sioux Falls on the 4th day of 
September, 1883. In that call Jerauld, being an unorganized county, was 
allowed but one delegate to the convention. 

A call for a mass convention of the voters of the county was pub- 
lished July 2 1st to be held on the 25th of the same month at Stephens' 
Hall to consult as to the best method to secure representation in the 
Sioux Falls convention. As Jerauld county had not been represented in 
the Huron meeting no one had been appointed to call a meeting of the 
voters of the county, so this notice was simply signed "By Request." 

At 2 o'clock on the afternoon of the day appointed (Wednesday) 24 
voters met in the hall. Mr. R. S. Bateman was made chairman and C. 
W. McDonald, clerk. The matter before the meeting was fully discussed 
and at length it was determined to proceed to the election of a delegate. 
The vote was by ballot with the following result : 

C. W. McDonald, 17; C. W. Hill, 2; John Chapman, 2: J. M. Spears, 
2 ; R. S. Bateman, i. 

The election of Mr. JNIcDonald was then made unanimous. 

The constitutional convention met in Sioux Falls on the 4th of Sep- 
tember, 1883, and perfected an organization. Bartlett Tripp, of Yankton, 
was made chairman. In the appointment of committees the member from 
Jerauld county was made chairman of the committee on printing. 

A gentleman named George Whalen appeared to contest the place 
from Jerauld county. His notice of contest was presented by A. Con- 
verse, a member from Sanborn county. The matter was referred to a 
committee of three, who reported that grave irregularities existed in the 
selection of both delegates and therefore it was recommended that both 
delegates be seated, giving Jerauld county two representatives. A. C. 
Mellette moved that both be seated with the right to half a vote each. 
Neither plan was adopted, and Mv. Whalen retired from the conven- 
tion, leaving Mr. McDonald to perform his duties without further an- 

The convention was in session for several weeks. 

People generally throughout the territory gave but little attention to 
the doings of the convention. Yet some of he leaders of certain move- 
ments brought forward their ideas and forced them upon the attention 
of the delegates. 

At the 4th (juarterly meeting of the M. E. church at Wessington 
Springs, held on Sejit. i^th, for the year 1883. the services were held in 
the new church. Rev. McCready. of Huron, delivered a stirring tem- 
perance address, and at the close of the meeting a petition was circulated 
and extensively signed asking the convention in session at Sioux P'alls 


E. B. On: 

D. A. Scott. 

Members of the G. A. R. 


to incorporate prohibition in the constitution they were framing. This 
petition with another asking for equal suffrage, was given to Mr. Con- 
verse to be presented to the convention. The petitions were duly pre- 
sented, but both were rejected. 

The constitutional convention of 1883 concluded its labors by the 
appointment of a committee in each county having authority to call an 
election, at which the people could adopt or reject the proposed consti- 
tution. The committee for Jerauld county were C. W. McDonald, chair- 
man, and J. F. Ford, secretary. 

The committee called the election for Nov. 6th. They defined the 
precincts and named the judges of election as follows : 

No. I — All of township 108 — 63 and that part of 108 — 64 lying east 
of the bed of the Firesteel Creek from the point where it crosses the 
south line of the township, and thence north through the channel of said 
creek, to the east line of section 16, thence north to the county line. 
Election to be held at the house of Mr. Stewart. No judges named. 

No. 2 — All of township 107 — 6^ and that part of 107—64 lying east 
of the Firesteel Creek. Election to be held at the residence of W. P. 
Pierce. No officers named. 

No. 3 — All of township 106 — 63 and that part of 106 — 64 lying east 
of the Firesteel Creek. Election to be held at the house of John Ahlers. 
Judges, Joseph Steichen, Henry Walters, Samuel Swenson. 

No. 4 — All of township 106 — 64 lying west of 'the Firesteel Creek and 
the east half of 106 — 65. Election to be held at the house of T. K. Ford. 
Judges, T. K. Ford, S. S. Moore and John Phillips. 

No. 5 — All of township 107 — 64 lying west of Firesteel Creek and 
the east half of 107- — 65. Election to be held at the Herald office in the 
village of Wessington Springs. Judges, H. C. Stephens, P. R. Barrett, 
Hiram Blowers. 

No. 6 — All of township 108 — 64 lying west of precinct No. i, and 
the east two-thirds of 108 — 65. Election to be held at the house of W. 
N. Hill. Judges, H. A. Miller, Jesse Simons and H. J. Wallace. 

No. 7 — West one-third of townships 108 — 65 and all of 108 — 66 and 
108 — 67. Election to be held at the house of L N. Rich. Judges, C. M. 
Chery, O. O. England and I. N. Rich. 

No. 8 — The west one-half of towship 107 — 65 and all of 107 — 66 and 
107 — 67. Election to be held at the house of John Sullivan. Judges, 
Mr. Pryne, Samuel Marlenee and W. Crittenden. 

No. 9 — The west one-half of township 106 — 65 and all of 106 — 66 and 
106 — 67. Election to be held at Crow Lake post office. Judges, S. H. 
Melcher, Mr. Jones and Joseph O'Brien. 

Polls to be kept open from 8 a. m. to 5 p. m. 


The call for the election was dated October 20, 1883. 

To get the constitution before the voters and do the work necessary 
to be done before the day of election a constitutional executive committee 
was appointed, composed of C. W. McDonald, chairman; J. F. Ford, 
J. M. Spears, Geo. Whalen, John Sullivan, C. W. Hill and R. S. Bate- 

Prior to the call of the election a number of the prohibitionists of the 
proposed state met at Huron and organized a temperance party and named 
it "The Prohibition Home Protection Party of South Dakota." This 
meeting was held on the loth day of October. A platform was adopted 
and a committeeman appointed for each county. Rev. J. G. Campbell 
being named for Jerauld county. Many prominent members of the new- 
party advocated opposition to the adoption of the proposed constitution, 
because of the defeat of prohibition and equal suffrage. No opposition 
was made in Jerauld county, however, and the election came on without 
any strenuous campaigning. 

The vote on the constitution in the county was light, the reports from 
the various precincts being as follows : 

No. I — No votes cast. 

No. 2 — No votes cast. 

No. 3 — For the constitution, 7. 

No. 4 — No votes cast. 

No. 5 — For, 35; against, i. 

No. 6 — For, 31. 

No. 7 — For, 7 ; against, 2. 

No. 8 — For, 32 ; against, 5. 

No. 9 — For, 26 ; against, i . 

Total — For, 128; against, 9. 

All the work in connection with the proposed constitution had been 
done without authority of law and neither the members of the conven- 
tion nor the election officers received any compensation for their services, 
nor were they reimbursed for their expenses. 

Throughout the proposed state the vote was heavily in favor of the 

By September, 1883, a number of Sunday schools had been organized 
in the county, and on the 6th of the month a county picnic was held at 
the grove, by the big spring. As it was the first gathering of its kind 
in the county the author has taken the time and space to insert the pro- 
gram in full : 


Music — Wessington Springs Sunday School. 

Prayer — Rev. J. W. P. Jordan. 

• 66 

!Music — West Valley Union Sunday School, 
Address — Rev. O. E. Murray. 
Song — By all the schools. 
Basket Dinner and Social Hour. 

Afternoon, 2 O'clock. 
Children's Meeting. 

^Nlusic — Quartette — West A'alley Sunday School. 
Address— Prof. W. H. Jordan. 
Music — Wessington Springs Sunday School. 
Address — Air. Huntley. 
Song-^West \'alley Sunday School. 
Blackboard Exercise — ]\I. D. Crow. 
Song — Wessington Spring Sunday School. 
Closing Remarks — Rev. J. G. Campbell. 
Closing Song by all present. 

At the close of the picnic a county Sunday school organization was 
perfected with the following officers : 

President, J. G. Campbell ; secretary, T. L. Blank, treasurer, Airs. E. 
L. DeLine ; executive committee, Harvey Russ, T. L. Blank, C. M. Bar- 
ber, C. C. Wright, J. X. Cross, Airs. D. Whealand, Lettie Ford. 

This was followed on Nov. 2, 1883, by the organization of a County 
Sunday School association with AI. D. Crow, president; T. L. IMank, 
secretary, and R. AI. Alagee, treasurer. 

In September, 1883, a further change was made in the Wessmgton 
Springs townsite company by the addition of Air. P. R. Barrett, who sold 
to D. A. Scott the 480 acres farm at the mouth of Barrett's gulch for 
$1,000 and an undivided one-fourth interest in the townsite. 

Chapter 17. 

When the first settlers in the three eastern townships of the county 
located there it was expected that he James river division of he C. AI. 
& St. P. would meet the Southern Alinnesota branch of the same system 
at Milwaukee Jimction, a little town that had been platted by parties, 
not connected with- the railway company, about five miles northeast of 

People had not then begun to realize how full}- railroads were run 
primarily in the interest of the few men who controlled the corporations. 


Isaac Pcarcc. 

F. IV. Whitney 

Rev. and Mrs. .S. F. Hiiiiflcv. 

Mrs. Isaac Pcarcc 

L. ]\\ Casiloiuiii 


They did not know that townsite companies, organized among the of- 
ficials of the road were platting the townsites in the name of the company 
and that private parties who platted land were given no consideration 

All through the spring and early summer of 1883 there were rumors 
of the extension of the line north from Letcher, but where it would go 
no one could even guess. In the fore part of June one of the Plankinton 
papers stated that the line would run northwest from Letcher, passing 
about six miles east of Wessington Springs. It was not until about the 
first of August that the public became appraised of the course the exten- 
sions would take. During that month the company platted the town of 
Woonsocket in Sanborn county and in September iVlpena was platted in 
the northeast part of Jerauld county. 

Before the surveyors had completed the work of platting the town 
of Alpena, a house mounted on four wagons and drawn by eight horses 
appeared in the southeast, coming across the prairie from the direction 
of Milwaukee Junction. As the moving building approached, the clear 
notes of a cornet floated out on the evening air. When the teams had 
reached a point near what is now the main street of the town, one of the 
teams hesitated and seemed about to stop. At that instant a voice, that 
for two drove things in the village and county, roared out 
^'gedap." It was the first word spoken in the town by an actual settler. 
The teams were finally halted and two men — the one with the cornet 
and the one with the voice — stepped to the ground and became from that 
moment the first settlers of the village of Alpena. 

The building rested on the four wagons until the next morning 
when the surveyors marked out a lot on the south side of main street 
and then the structure was placed on its temporary foundation. It stands 
on the same spot to this day. 

L. N. Loomis and Wesley L. Davis, the two men who arrived m the 
building from Milwaukee Junction at once engaged in the real estate 
business. One of their first moves was to purchase a printing office out- 
fit, which they hauled from Letcher with a span of horses and on the 
19th day of September they issued the first number of the Jerauld County 
Journal. The paper is still in existence, but now under the name of the 
Alpena Journal, being the oldest publication in the county. 

Within a few weeks after Loomis & Davis placed their office on the 
townsite, other buildings arrived from Milwaukee Junction, which town 
had by this time disbanded, so to speak, part of it going to the new town 
of Woonsocket. 

O. B. Jessup brought a building, which he placed on the north side 


of Main street and is now used as a paint shop. Mr. Richard Davenport 
opened a restaurant in the Jessup building soon after its arrival. 

W. L. Arnold, who had been in the mercantile business in the now 
deserted village in Sanborn county brought to Alpena a store building 
which he used that winter for a store, and in which Mr. Jessup, the first 
postmaster in Alpena, opened the post office about the middle of Decem- 
ber. The building has since been used for a drug store, first by Dr. D. 
F. Royer, until February ist, 1891, and then by W. W. Hillis. 

A residence building was also moved to Alpena from Milwaukee Junc- 
tion by W. L. Arnold. 

Isaac Pearce, who owned a claim a mile south of town,- built a resi 
dence and restaurant combined on the south side of Main street and began 
doing business in November. 

By the ist of October, 1883, the railroad was constructed as far as 
Alpena and trains were running. 

About the same time F. W. Whitney opened a hardware store in the 
building now occupied by Grant Anderson on the northeast corner of 
Main and 2nd streets. 

Soon after the completion of the railroad into the town D. F. Royer 
and V^m. Walcott started a lumber yard which they continued as partners 
until the spring of 1884 when Royer drew out and engaged in the drug 

During the winter of 1883 Dr. Royer built a residence on a lot south 
of Main street, fronting on 2nd street. 

Before the winter closed in Wallace Linn built a barn for a livery 
business and established a dray line. 

Soon after the town was surveyed John Zimmerman put up a black- 
smith shop. 

In the township 107 — 63, a cemetery was located at the northeast 
corner of the NW quarter of section 4, then known as the Whiffin claim. 
Here Dr. Whiffin was buried in the fall of 1883, being the first burial 
in the township. A lady named Quiven was also buried in that cemetery, 
but in 1884 an acre was platted in the southwest corner of section 2,3 and 
both the bodies moved there. The new burial ground was named Fair- 
view Cemetery, and is controlled by a corporation known as the Fairview 
Cemetery Association. 

In September, 1883, a postoffice named Starkey was established on 
the NE of 35-107-64, with Wm. Morrill as postmaster and supplied by 
the route from Mitchell to Elmer. Morrill retained the office but a few 
weeks and then turned it over to Ed LaRue, who took the office to the 
NW of 31-107-63, but soon resigned and James Johnson was oppointed. 
Johnson kept the office at the same place and opened a little candy store 


but in the spring of 1884 he resigned and the office was moved to the 
residence of W. P. Pierce, who retained it for several years. 

On December 15th. 1833, Guy Posey was born, being the first birth 
in township 107 — 63. 

The location of the new town over the line in Sanborn county was a 
great convenience to settlers in the east half of Jerauld county. As soon 
as the new town became a fact a petition was circulated in Wessington 
Springs and vicinity asking for a daily mail connection. 

( )n ( )ctober loth, 1883, E. B. Orr put on a stage line between \\'es- 
sington Springs and Woonsocket, and on the 25th of the same month, 
-\. Peck, of Woonsocket, put on a competing line. 

Farmers began hauling their ])roduce to \\'oonsocket before a ware- 
house or elevator had been built. The first load of grain taken into the 
new town was a load of flax by Rev. J. G. Campbell. The man who had 
located there to buy grain was out of town that day. but Mr. Campbell 
chanced to meet John T. Kean, a lawyer, who purchased it rather than 
see the first load of grain brought to the town hauled awav aeain. 


Chapter I. 

Many years ago when Dakota Territory began to take political shape 
the part now known as Jerauld county was in the western part of Buf- 
falo county, which embraced the country west of Minnehaha and north 
of Yankton counties. 

In 1873 the legislature created the county of Wetniore, including in 
it the west half of what is now Miner county, all of Sanborn, all of 
Jerauld, except the three west townships in range sixty-seven, and the 
north tier oi townships in Arirora county. Wetmore county was never 
organized and in 1879 it was cut up into smaller political subdivisions, 
the present boundaries of Jerauld county being attached to Crogin county 
to form Aurora. 

The creation of the county of Jerauld was an incident of the capital 
iight that for several years was waged with great bitterness and much of 
political intrigue between Yankton and Bismarck in the old territorial 

In the course of the contest many towns became ambitious of capital 
honors, and many local jealousies were involved. 

The men who controlled the contending forces were masters of all the 
arts of politics. 

A history of that contest is outside the purpose of this volume, except 
in so far as it effects the subject in hand. 

One of the methods to secure votes in the territorial legislature of 
1879, 1881 and 1883 upon the questions involved in the relocation of the 
capital, was the creation of new counties and naming them in reward for 
political service rendered by the persons whose names were bestowed 
upon the various political subdivisions. 

In some instances the opposite course was taken and a county would 
be threatened with annihilation (as in the case of Davison county) in 
the hope of whipping an obstinate member into line. 

By an act approved February 22, 1879. the boundaries of the county 
of Hanson were extended to include the county of Davison, the latter 
countv was abolished and the county of Aurora was created. 


By this act Aurora county extended from Douglas county on the 
south to Beadle and Hand counties on the north and included all of 
townships loi, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107 and 108. and ranges 63, 
64, 65 and 66. 

This act placed in Aurora county all of what is now Jerauld county, 
except the townships in range 6^. 

Commissioners for Aurora coimty were appointed by Gov. Ordway 
in the summer of 188 1. 

One of the commissioners appointed was A. B. Smart of township 
107 — 65, now of Wessington Springs, Jerauld county. 

In the organization of Aurora county, Mr. Alden Brown, now in the 
Soldiers' Home at Ouincy, III, but then a resident of the northwest 
quarter of section 6 — 107 — 64, was appointed superintendent of schools. 
Mr. Brown served but a few months and resigned. At the instance of 
Mr. Smart the board then appointed C. W. McDonald, of section 13- — - 
107 — 65, to fill the vacancy. 

Another act approved March ist, 1881, madS Hanson county extend 
only to the James river, on the west, while the east line of Aurora county 
was made the new west line of Hanson county, but leaving the balance 
of Aurora county the same as designated by the act of 1879. This act, 
however, provided for a vote of the people of Davison county on the 
matter of annexation. 

By an act approved March 9th, 1883, the last day of the session, a 
new county was created by dividing Aurora county on the line between 
townships 105 and 106. The new county was made to mclude town- 
ships 106, 107 and 108 from south to north, and ranges 63, 64, 65, 66 
and 67, from east to west. The new county was named Jerauld, the 
name of a member of the territorial council from Lincoln county. 

The townships 108 — 67, 107 — 67 and 106 — 67 had formerly been a 
part of Buffalo county. 

The act made provision for an election on the question of division 
to be held in that part of Jerauld county taken from Aurora, which elec- 
tion was appointed by the law for the 17th day of April, 1883. 

The act also provided that the commissioners of Aurora county should 
appoint judges of such election and establish precincts tlierefor. Pro- 
vision was also made for publication of notices of said election in paper 
to be designated by the Aurora county commissioners. 

After the creation of Brule county in 1879, Buffalo county was at- 
tached to it for judicial purposes. At the next session of the territorial 
legislature, 1881, an act was passed authorizing the filing and recording 
of deeds and mortgages, taken in unorganized counties in the county to 
which they were attached for judicial purposes. 


As Buffalo county was then attached to Brule for judicial purposes, 
the deeds and mortgages and other conveyances of Buffalo county lands 
were placed on the record books of Brule county at Chamberlain. 

This included townships io6 — dy, 107 — 67 and 108 — 6^, which were 
a part of Buffalo county until April 17th, 1883. 

Chapter 2. 

In accordance with the act of March 9th, 1883, the commissioners of 
Aurora county caused notice of the election for April 17th to the pub- 
lished in the Wessington Springs Herald and also in the Aurora County 
Standard. Precincts in the proposed new county were established and 
judges appointed as follows: 

No. I — Townships 107 and 108, range 63 and the two east tiers of 
sections in township 107 and 108, range 64. Polling place, house of I. 
P. Ray. Judges, J. W. Whiffin, Hiram Fisher and I. P. Ray. 

No. 2 — Townships 106, range 63, 64 and 65. Polling place, the house 
of Chas. Walters. Judges, L. G. Wilson, T. K. Ford and John Steiner. 

No. 3 — Township 108, range 65 and 66 and township 107, range 65, 
with the four west tiers of sections in townships 107 and 108, range 64. 
Polling place, Elmer P. O. Judges, C. W. Hill, Chas. W. McDonald 
and A. B. Smart. 

No. 4 — Townships 106 and 107, range 66. Polling place, the house 
of Albert Allyn. Judges, H. F. Brasch, Albert Allyn and Phillip H. 

Polls to remain open from 8 a. m. until 5 p. m. 

The election was a victory for the new county. The vote was for 
division, 149; against division 25. In Wessington Springs precinct 
division lacked but one vote of being unanimous. 

The result of the election was certified to^ the territorial secretary at 
Yankton and on the 30th day of September, 1883, the governor appointed 
Hiram D. Fisher, of 107 — 64, Almona B. Smart, of 107 — 65 and Samuel 
H. Melcher, of 106 — 66, commissioners to organize Jerauld county. The 
commissions were sent by mail to Mr. Melcher, at Crow Lake, who for- 
warded the commissions for Smart and Fisher to them at Wessington 
Springs by T. H. Null. 

In the division of the county of Aurora the old organization retained 
all the property and assumed all the debts. Jerauld county started with- 
out debt and without money. 


There is no record showing when the commissioners of the new county 
took the oath of office, or that they ever quahfied in the legal sense of 
the word as officials. But, l^e that as it may, they met at the residence 
of A. B. Smart near Wessington Springs and organized on the 9th da}' 
of November, 1883, by electing Mr. Smart chairman of the board. Mr. 
Smart was made chairman because of his experience as a member of the 
board that organized Aurora county. 

The first motion made and carried after organization was to the effect 
that at the close of this first session, the board adjourn until the first 
^londay in January, 1884, which would come on the 7th of that month. 

Some time prior to the organization of the board, Mr. Charles W. 
McDonald had been appointed by Judge A. J. Egerton to be clerk of the 
district court for Jerauld county. Air. McDonald now appeared before 
the board and filed his bond, upon which appeared the names of Peter 
R. Barrett and Robert S. Bateman as sureties. The bond was approved 
November 9th, 1883. Mr. McDonald continued to hold this position 
until the admission of South Dakota as a state in 1889. 

On this 9th day of November, 1883, at the evening session, R. Y. 
Hazard, of 106 — 66, was appointed to be the first school superintendent 
of Jerauld county. This appointment was made at the instance of Com. 
]\felcher. A candidate in opposition to Mr. Hazard was a man named 
J. T. Johnston, of township 108 — 66, who was elected to succeed Mr. 
Hazard at the first regular election for count}^ officers held in Novem- 
ber, 1884. 

A number of private or subscription schools, had been held in vari- 
ous parts of the county in the two previous years, but upon IVIr. Hazard 
devolved the responsibility of organizing the public school system for 
the county. It is to ]^ regretted that full records were not kept and 

Aside from organizing and approving Mr. McDonald's bond as clerk 
of the district court, but little was done during the first day, of an official 
character, the members of the board putting in most of the time in talk- 
ing over the work before them in a commendable desire to get a full 
understanding of their duties. 

Now that we have reached the point, after which these three com- 
missioners must always hold an important place in the history of the 
county, it is i)r()i)er that they, individualh', be given a more extended 
r.otice than it is .our intention to give to persons, in the preparation of 
this chronicle. VVe shall hereafter write of persons only in connection 
with events. 

Samuer llenry Melcher was born at Gilmantown, New Hampshire, 
( )ctobcr 30th, 1828. He was a student in the medical department of 


7. L. Blank. 

J. E. McNamam. R. Y. Hazard. 




^^^ 1 



^^^^^^^^bA^— .^« 




A. B. Smart. 

Ur. S. H. Mclchcr. 


Bowdoin College, Maine ; and also in the Vermont Medical College. He 
graduated M. D. at Dartmouth College, November 6th, 1850, and began 
practice of his profession as house surgeon of the Cit}^ Hospital in South 
Boston, remaining there during the winter of 1850 — 51. May 7th, 1861, 
he was made assistant surgeon of the Fifth Missouri Volunteers and 
served with that regiment at the battles of Carthage, Mo., Dug Springs 
and Wilson Creek. Surgeon Melcher remained on the battlefield of Wil- 
son Creek until all the other Federal officers had left, and obtained from 
the Confederate General Price the body of General Lyon, commander of 
the Union forces in that engagement, who was killed there, and brought 
it to Springfield, Mo., accompanied by a Confederate escort, furnished 
by the rebel General Rains. The term of service of the regiment, which 
had enlisted for three months, had now expired and Mr. Melcher 
volunteered to remain in Springfield as a prisoner to care for the wounded 
Union soldiers, numbering over 500, who had been brought there from 
the Wilson Creek battlefield. The people of Springfield generously fur- 
nished provisions and supplies to the wounded of both armies until Sur- 
geon Melcher obtained the things needed from the headquarters of the 
Union forces at Rolla. He was at his post in the hospital on the 25th 
of October, 1861, when Fremont's bodyguard, under the gallant Major 
Zagonyi, made its memorable charge into the city of Springfield and 
drove out the confederate forces. The wounded survivors of that battle 
were gathered at the court house, made as a hospital, and on the morn- 
ing after the fight Mr. Melcher, assisted by a soldier from the ist Iowa 
V. I. and another from ist Missouri V. I., raised the stars and stripes 
over the old court house, which still stands in the center of the square. 
In November, 1861, Surgeon Melcher removed all the Wilson Creek 
wounded to St. Louis and on Dec. 4th, 1861, he was made brigade sur- 
geon of the First Brigade Mo. S. M. Vol. He was now assigned to hos- 
pital duty in St. Louis on the stafif of Gen. Schofield, and in the spring 
of 1862 he at one time had charge of the three most important hospitals 
in the city. For his efficient services in the supervision of these hospitals 
he was made the recipient of a testimonial from the Western Sanitary 
Commission and honorable mention by the Surgeon General of the United 
States. He was then made a member of the commission to examine 
candidates for appointment as surgeon of state troops. Mr. Melcher 
was commissioned Colonel and organized and equipped the 32nd E. M. 
M. In October, 1862, he was stationed at Springfield and organized 
the medical department there. On the night of January 7. 1863, Col. 
Melcher organized a force of the convalescents under his care, chained 
three old iron cannon on wagon wheels and during the 8th rendered 
great assistance to Gen. Brown in driving back the rebels under Marma- 


duke. Vol. 2, part 2 of the Medical History of the War of the Rebellion 
contains an account of an operation performed by Surgeon Melcher upon 
Gen. Brown, who was wounded in the defense of Springfield, January 
8th, 1863. He was made lieutenant colonel of the 6th cavalry Mo. S. 
M. Vols, in 1863, and in 1864 he was aide de camp on the staff of Gen. 
Pleasanton during the Price raid in Missouri. His last service in the 
army was as post commander at Jefferson City, Mo. He was com- 
pelled to resign because of injury to his sight caused by a bursting shell 
at the battle of Springfield, Jan. 8th, 1863, and which has since resulted 
in total blindness. 

Mr. A/[elcher has been a member of the I. O. O. F. since February 
10, 1892, and now has a fifty-year veteran jewel of the order. He is a 
member of the G. A. R., of the Society of the Army of the Frontier and 
a Companion of the Military Order Loyal Legion of the United States. 

Hiram D. Fisher was born in Hermon, St. Lawrence county. N. Y., 
Oct. 14, 1847. Later in life he became a resident of Rockford, Iowa, 
and in 1883 moved to Jerauld county, D. T. His education was ob- 
tained in the common schools. Sept. 12, 1885, he married Mrs. Wilma 
Pinkman. Mr. Fisher moved back to Rockford, Iowa, in 1889, where 
he resided until his death, June 26, 1906. 

Almona B. Smart, chairman of the board, was a Methodist minister, 
who had graduated from Boston University. He had been a sailor be- 
fore the mast and as such visited many parts of the world. From edu- 
cation and observation he had become a bitter opponent of the liquor 
traffic in all its forms as well as of all other kinds of vice. As a member 
of the board of commissioners of Aurora county he had kept that county 
free from saloons and been at all times a tireless and vehement worker 
in the cause of temperance. In his work as a minister he seemed to feel 
no fatigue, but filled appointments at Plankinton, Mitchell, Huron, Miller 
and intermediate points, as well as at numerous dwelling houses in his 
home county. 

These were the men upon whom was placed the burden of creating 
a county out of the raw material at hand. They represented three ut- 
terly distinct types of men. 

Smart was a man of much learning, possessed of great tenacity of 
opinion and a disregard of public clamor that has at times made him 
unpopular with the people. Yet, probably no other man has done so 
much for the general welfare of the county, intellectually and morally, 
as he. 

Melcher was a man of pleasing manners, wide experience, cultured 
and possessed of great creative and executive ability. He, more than 

78 . 

any other member of the board, shaped the poHcy that has been pursued 
by the county as an organization ever since. 

Fisher was a man who typified the spirit of the masses. 

Looking back at their work, across the vista of twenty-five years^ 
though it shows crudeness in places, yet, in view of the many perplexing 
and annoying occurrences that beset them, the political edifice they reared 
— temperate, moral, out of debt and never bonded — look."; well beside 
its fellows. 

Chapter 3. 

On the second day of the session at the instance of j\lr. Fisher, J. 
F. Ford was appointed clerk of the board to serve until such time as a 
register of deeds should be appointed, the law at that time making that 
officer ex-officio clerk for the county commissioners. 

On the same day the commissioners gave the first order for county 
supplies. It was an order to Perkins Bros., of Sioux City, for jjlank 
books to the amount of $282.00, or at such sum as any other "legitimate 
house would furnish them," and for four seals at $4.00 each ; all to be 
])aid for with coimty warrants, payable when there should be a sufficient 
surplus of money in the county treasury. The warrants were taken 
at par. 

During this second day's session a letter from E. S. Waterbur}- was 
read and placed on file, expressing concurrence and asking that the por- 
tion of Buffalo county annexed to Jerauld by the last legislature be 
recognized in the organization of Jerauld county. 

November 10, 1883, F. T. Toffiemier, J. O. Gray and Henry Herring 
were appointed justices of the peace and James Paddock, L. W. Castle- 
man and B. l*". Wiley were appointed constables. 

The board finshed the appointment of judicial officers for the new 
county, except probate judge, on the loth day of Noveml^er, 1883. by 
giving J. M. Spears the office of sheriflf. 

The board took up the subject of bridges on the 2nd day of the ses- 
sion, and authorized Commissioner Fisher to construct a bridge on the 
line between sections 14 and 2t, in 107 — 64, at a cost to the count}- not 
to exceed $100. 

The board closed its first session by dividing the count}' into tiu'ee 
commissioner districts as follows: 


District No. !■ — All that part of the county lying- east of the I-'ire- 
steel Creek. 

District No. 2 — All that part of the county lying between the Fire- 
steel Creek and the town line between 108 — 65 and 108 — 66. 

District No. 3 — The balance of the county. 

Board adjourned to meet January 7th, 1884. 

The second meeting of the board was held on the evening of the 17th 
of November, 1883, when Mr. Melcher and Mr. Smart chanced to meet 
in the office of Dunham & Ingham,- publishers of the Jerauld County 
News, in what was then known as the Applegate building, later as the 
Woodburn Hotel, but now as the old Carlton House. Mr. Smart acted 
as both chairman and clerk at that meeting. 

Nothing of importance was done that evening but the next day ^Ir. 
Fisher being present a meeting was held in the office of McDonald & 
Bateman with Mr. Ford as clerk. At this meeting Mr. Smart was 
authorized to construct a bridge to cost not to exceed $75 across the 
gulch on the line between sections 17 and 18 — 107 — 64. The board 
numbered the bridges to be built as follows : 

No. I — Across the Firesteel between sections 14 and 23 — 107 — 64. 
No. 2 — Across the gulch between 17 and 18 — 107 — 64. 
No. 3 — On line between sections 20 and 21 — 107 — 64. 
No. 4 — On line between sections 28 and 29 — 107 — 67. 
No. 5 — On line between sections ;^2 and 33 — 107 — 67. 

Commissioner Melcher was authorized to construct bridges No. 3. 4 
and 5 at a cost of not to exceed $400 to the county. 

A petition was read from the people of Bufifalo county and the 
v/estern part of Jerauld county asking for the appointment of a probate 
judge from the western part of the county. 

At the meeting on the 8th of January, 1884, the first bill against the 
county was presented by W. J. Williams. It was $15.00 for hauling the 
lumber and making approaches for the bridge, authorized on the loth 
of November to be built across the Firesteel Creek. Warrant No. 3 
was afterward issued for this account. 

At the adjourned meeting on the 7th day of January, 1884, the board 
adopted the proceeding of the meeting held on the 17th of November 
and made the minutes of that meeting a part of the record. 


Chapter 4. 

With organization came a multiplicity of matters, great and small, 
to vex the minds of the county commissioners, and arouse the good, or 
ill will of people interested, according to the success or failure of their 
wishes. The offices were to be filled and for each of several positions 
there were numerous applicants. The county seat must be located tem- 
porarily, and for this there were two candidates. Wessington Spring and 
Templeton. Then in the former place there were several parties, each 
wanting the county building located on their particular piece of property. 

The Wessington Springs Townsite company, through one of their 
number, Mr. D. A. Scott, now of Sioux Falls, went before the board and 
offered office rooms for county officers free of rent for one year, if 
the commissioners would locate the county seat temporarily at Wessing- 
ton Springs, and making the further ofifer that if that place should be 
made the permanent location they would then give a block of lots for 
county buildings and supply the buildings with water. 

J. N. Cross of Templeton, sent in an offer of "the use of two spacious 
rooms, provided with stoves, for six years, and two blocks of lots to be 
selected by the county commissioners," if the county capital should be 
located on his farm, the NE quarter of section 7 — 107 — 65 (Media). In 
the spring and summer of 1883 Mr. Cross had erected a large two story 
grout building, and it was in this structure that he offered the rooms. 
On January nth Mr. Cross increased his offer to "every third block to 
be platted on the N half of the NE quarter of section 7 — 107 — 65, one- 
half to be delivered for immediate use and the balance when the county 
seat should be permanently located on that tract. The offer was never 
accepted, and inasmuch as the large grout building tumbled to a heap 
of ruins three years later it was probably wise to reject it 

The matter was made more complicated, and the inducements of the 
various offers somewhat lessened, by various propositions from other 
parties, some with objects to be gained and some without. Among the 
latter was one from McDonald & Bateman, publishers of the Wessington 
Springs Herald and proprietors of the Jerauld County Bank, offering 
"the use of their printing office and banking rooms'' in the building later 
used by C. W. England for a confectionary and tobacco store and now 
by Earl Howthorne as living rooms in connection with his restaurant, 
for use of the clerk of the district court and the county commissioners 
free of rent, and furnish lights and fuel for one year. As Mr. McDonald 
had secured the office he desired, and Mr. Bateman was not a candidate 
for anything, it is difficult to see any private gain for them in the ac- 
ceptance of their offer. 


J. F. Ford, a candidate for register of deeds, "offered the county 
commissioners the use of his office, rent free, for one year." His office 
was about one-half of the building in which Hermson's barber shop is 
now located. The commissioners availed themselves of this offer for a 
few days and held their meetings in Mr. Ford's office until February 
19th, 1884, but without indicating at the time of acceptance who would 
be their choice for register of deeds. 

O. V. Harris, another candidate for that office, offered to perform 
the duties of register of deeds for the year 1884, for no other compensa- 
tion than that for recording instruments and furnish rent, lights, fuel 
and stationery for the county. 

Commissioner Smart now submitted a proposition on the location of 
the county seat, which was "to- furnish land and material for court 
house to be built of granite, sandstone and limestone, if court house was 
located on the SE quarter of SE quarter of section 12 — 107 — 65. 

On the 3rd day of this session the board fixed the amount of the 
official bonds of county officers as follows : 

Register of Deeds, $1,000. 

Probate Judge, $1,000. 

Treasurer, $4,000. 

Sheriff, $2,000. 

County Superintendent, $1,000. 

Coroner, $1,000. 

Justices, $500. 

On January lotli the board took up the subject of school townships, 
numbering them and defining their boundaries. This duty seems to have 
perplexed and bothered the commissioners as much as any other matter 
that occupied their attention. The territorial law required school town- 
ships to correspond with congressional townships except in case where 
natural obstacles rendered such a course impracticable. The Firesteel 
Creek was looked upon by the board as such an obstable. Yet this does 
not account for all of the actions of the board in creating school town- 

School township No. i was made to comprise congressional township 
No. 108, N range 63 W., 5th P. M. 

No. 2 — Township 108 — 64 and the east half of 108 — 65. 

No. 3 — The west half of 108 — 65 and all of 108 — 66. 

No. 4 — All of 108 — dy and all of 107 — 67. 

No. 5 — All of 107 — 66. 

No. 6 — All of 107 — 65 and five tiers of sections off the west side 
of 107 — 64. 

No. 7 — One tier of sections off the east side of 107 — 64 and all of 


No. 8 — All of io6 — 63 and one tier of sections off the east side oi 
106 — 64. 

No. 9 — All of 106 — 65 and all of 106 — 64 Iving west of No. 8. 

No. 10— All of 106—66. 

No. II — All of 106 — 67. 

The next day, January nth, the county seat matter again came up. 
George R. Bateman and Hiram Blowers, who owned a tract of land north 
and east of the town, offered the county forty acres, if the court house 
should be located on the property, and all the stone needed to be de- 
livered within one mile of the building. This offer was filed with the 
others and entered in the minutes of the meeting. 

At the meeting on January 12th the subject of appointing an official" 
county paper came up. There were then five newspapers in the cotjnty: 
The Buffalo County Herald, published at Sulphur Spring ; The News, 
published at Waterbury ; the Wessington Springs Herald, and the Jerauld 
County News, published at Wessington Springs and the Journal, pub- 
lished at Alpena. 

McDonald & Bateman, publishers of the Herald, at Wessington 
Springs, offered to publish the minutes of the board meetings without 
cost to the county, if their paper should be made the official paper. The 
offer was accepted. 

Saturday afternoon, January 12th, the county seat problem was again 
brought forward, this time in a definite proposition. Commissioner 
Fisher voted for Wessington Springs and Commissioner Melcher for 
Templeton, the name given to the postoffice located on Mr. Cross' farm, 
before mentioned. The vote being a tie the chairman declined to vote 
on the question until Monday, that course being in accordance with the 
law of the territory and now, also, of the state. There was no doubt 
as to how Mr. Smart would vote, so when in Monday's session he voted 
with Mr .Fisher for Wessington Springs, no one was surprised or dis- 

January 14th, 1884, was a day that has never been surpassed in the 
history of the county in political interest. The board had announced 
that on that day they would listen to representations, from the dift'erent 
candidates for the various positions to be filled by appointment. The 
candidates were on hand — all in person and some with attorney, also 
— and the day was given up to speech making, or essay readings as the 
reasons why this one or that one should be appointed were laid before 
the board. No one but the commissioners then knew that the members 
of the board had held a secret meeting a few evenings previously in the 
northwest corner room on the second floor of Tarbell's hotel, in which 
they had agreed upon the candidates that should be appointed. 


Chapter 5. 

Among the candidates who appeared before the board that day were 
several who subsequently became prominent in the affairs of the county 
and state. 

For the position of register of deeds were J. F. Ford, now of Los 
Angeles, California ; T. L. Blank, now a civil engineer of Des Moines, 
loAva; O. V. Harris, B. F. Swatman, J. R. Francis, afterward justice of 
the peace, and for many years district attorney and probate judge; T. 
H. Null, for some time attorney for the state board of railroad commis- 
sioners, and nov/ practicing attorney at Huron, and A. N. Louder, now 
a merchant at Presho, S. D. 

For probate judge the candidates were R. M. Magee, M. C. Ayers, 
afterward state's attorney for the county, and H. M. Rice. 

For assessor the candidates were L. G. Wilson, afterward county 
commissioner, Geo. Whealen, and M. D. Crow. 

For treasurer the candidates were E. V. Miles, elected state senator 
in the statehood movement in 1885, P. R. Barrett, postmaster at Wessing- 
ton Springs and W. J. Williams. 

The candidates for county surveyor were H. J. Wallace, afterward 
county surveyor, county treasurer and state surveyor, and J. M. Corbin, 
for many years a popular instructor among the Indians at Pine Ridge 
and Rosebud agencies. 

This performance was for some time referred to as "the county's 
literarv entertainment." At its close the board adjourned without an- 
nouncing any appointments. 

The next morning, Jan. i6th, the board announced the appoinment 
of R. M. Magee, of the firm of Drake & Magee, attorney for Jerauld 
county without salary. The only compensation Mr. Magee ever received 
from this appointment was $6.00 on February 6th and $10 on May 2, 
1884, as fees for consultations. 

On the same day a petition signed by 26 electors of townships 108 — 
66 and 107- — 66 was presented to the board by L N. Rich, asking that 
those two townships be made into one school organization. Another 
petition was presented that day by Mr. Dean of 107—66, asking that that 
township be made a school township by itself. This petition was signed 
by 42 electors. The petitions Avere filed and action on them deferred. 

E. S. Waterbury and C. V. Martin of Crow township, appeared before 
the board on the 17th and protested against the plan adopted by the com- 
missioners in fixing the boundaries of the school townships. The>- asked 
that for the west side of the county, at least, the school and congressional 
townships should embrace the same territory. The board then took up 


the subject of school elections and commencing with io8 — 67 the north- 
west corner township, they changed the school township lines. The fol- 
lowing is the substance of the order made January 17th. 

The election was called for Feb. 23, the names of the judges and the 
polling places being stated in the order. 

No. I (108 — 67) — ^Judges, J. M. Corbin, J. J. Groub and John Cal- 
vert, at the residence of J. J. Groub. 

No. 2 (107 — (yj) — Judges, E. A. Herman, W. J\I. Cross and '\\. E. 
Merwin. at the store of Rice & Herring in the town of Waterbury. 

No. 3 (106 — 67) — Judges, W. S. Combs, Wm. Niemeyer and Z. P. 
De Forest, at Wm. Niemeyer 's residence. 

No. 4 (108 — 66) — Judges, Chas. Smith, Moses Rich and Daniel 
Mitchell, at the residence of Moses Rich. 

No. 5 (107 — 66) — Judges, G. W. Stetson, S. Sourwine and J. W. 
Todd, the house of S. Sourwine. 

No. 6 (106 — 66) — Judges, David Moulton, Frank Spinier and E. 
H. Grossman, at residence of Joseph O'Brien. 

No. 7 (108 — 65 and ^V-^ tiers of sections on the west side of 108 — 
64) — Judges, E. V. Miles, Wm. Hawthorne and Jorgen Hansen. Poll- 
ing place the office of Ford & Rich in Wessington Springs. 

No. 9 (106 — 65 and 4I/0 tiers of sections off the west side of 106 — 
64) — Judges, Chas. Walters. A. D. Cady, and Wm. Dixon, at house of 
S. S. Moore. 

No. 10 (108 — 63 and ii/o tiers of sections off the east side of 108 — 
64 — Judges, Chas. Eastman, Jos. Moore and Wm. Arne, at the office 
of L. N. Loomis in the town of Alpena. 

No. II (107 — 63 and ji/o tiers of sections off the east side of 107 — 
64) — Judges, Owen Williams, W\ P. Pierce and Henry Kineriem, at 
residence of Wm. Houmes. 

No. 12 (106 — 63 and i^/o tiers of sections off the east side of 106 — • 
64) — Judges, Henry Walters, Thos. Biggar and Jos. Steichen. 

The commissioners also named the election clerks for each township, 
but their names were not entered in the book containing the records of 
the commissioners' proceedings. The clerks named by the board were 
as follows : 

No. I — O. G. Emery. James Talbert. 

No. 2— W. A. Rex, H. W. Austin. 

No. 3 — Jacob Norin, Amos Gotwals, 

No. 4 — Wm. Bremner, Jeff Sickler. 

No. 5— S. F. Huntley, Mark Williams. 

No. 6 — E. L. Sawyer, Joseph O'Brien. 

No. 7 — M. A. Schaefer, A. T. Kerkman. 


No. 8— M. C. Ayers, M. D. Crow. 

No. 9 — Fred Burrows, Wni. Paganhart. 

No. lo — Wesley Davis, Joel Harding-. 

No. II — K. S. Starkey, Andrew Olsen. 

No. 12 — Henry Koonse, Wm. Daniels. 

The affairs of the county now reached a condition where it was 
necessary that the various county offices should be filled and on the i8th 
of January the following appointments were announced : 

Surveyor — J. A. McFarlane. 

Treasurer — W. J. Williams. 

Assessor — L. G. Wilson. 

Probate Judge — H. M. Rice. 

Register of Deeds — T. L. Blank. 

For surveyor the appointee, Mr. McFarlane, was not a candidate and 
declined to qualify. 

At this meeting a bill for $6.25, express charges on the supplies re- 
ceived from Perkins Bros., ordered Nov. 10, 1883, was presented by C. 
W. McDonald and allowed. For this bill warrant No. i was issued. It 
was cashed by Mr. Melcher at par and was paid and cancelled a few 
weeks later and is now in the possession of Mr. McDonald. 

The county seat propositions by the various parties was combined 
and presented to the board as follows, under date of January 18, 1884: 

The commissioners' record was published in the Wessington Springs 
Herald is as follows. 

"On motion the combined proposition of Mrs. R. J. Smart and A. B. 
Smart and D. A. Scott on the part of the townsite proprietors and Hiram; 
Blowers and George Bateman was accepted," but the acceptance does not 
appear of record. 

On motion the county attorney was instructed to draw the necessary- 
paper in reference to the combined proposition. 


Hiram Blowers offers to give two lots to the county to be selected by 
the commissioners and another to be selected by himself. George Bate- 
man offers to give one acre on one of the two corners nearest the town- 
site, or anywhere along the west line of the NW quarter NE quarter 
section 18, township 107, range 64, to be selected by the commissioners. 

Proposition of Smart and Scott^ — The blocks and lots to be given are 
to be platted and numbered so as to make block A as the court house 
block located north of black 2, SW of equal size with it the south part 
and block 4 and block 5 in the townsite of Wessington Springs to be 
given by the townsite proprietors and the north part of block C together 


with block 1 and three on the SE quarter SE quarter section 12, town- 
ship 107, range 65 as designated by the plats shown in connection with 
the proposition offered, the stone with which to build the buildings, 
granite, limestone, sandstone, to be given by A. B. Smart and Mrs. R. 
J. Smart, all this property used only for the purpose of providing the 
county with a proper set of county buildings. These buildings to be 
built as soon as practicable in the judgment of the commissioners. 

Provided, that if any part of the above specified gifts are ever used 
lor the purpose of buying, selling, manufacturing or using intoxicants 
as a beverage or in any way helping the same, then, in that case, such 
part shall revert to the original donor. 

January 26th the board estimated that the cost of running the county 
one year would be between $500 and $1000, and instructed the chairman 
and clerk to see what arrangements could be made to get banks or indi- 
viduals to cash warrants for current expenses. Though no arrangement 
was perfected, it is probable that the eft'ort kept the county warrants 
at a reasonable discount. 

The board now began to look about for a building to be used by the 
register of deeds for an office, and for general county purposes. The 
chairman was authorized to receive sealed bids for the construction of 
a building 12x20 feet in size, with 8 foot ceiling. 

On Feb. 4th the first petition for civil township organization was 
presented by a number of the voters of township 108 — 65. The petition 
was filed and never heard of again. 

An order made by the commissioners on the 5th day of February 
established the road districts of the county to correspond in size and 
number with the school townships and appointed road overseers for the 
different districts as follows : 

No. I— J. M. Corbin. 
No. 2 — E. S. Waterbury. 
No. 3^Wm. Niemeyer. 
No 4— Jeff Sickler. 
No. 5 — ^Mark Williams. 
No. 6 — Elliott L. Sawyer. 
No 7— C. W. Hill. 
No. 8— H. Blowers. 
No. 9— T. K. Ford. 
No. 10 — Isaac Pearce. 
No. II — Sever Starkey. 
No. 12 — Nicholas Steichen, 


As the time for the school township election approached the matter 
of providing for it occupied the attention of the board. Twelve ballot 
boxes were ordered made and distributed to the various precincts. Bal- 
lots also were ordered printed and paid for by the county. No one 
seemed to think but that the county having ordered the election and 
furnished the boxes, was logically bound to provide the ballots. So 
McDonald & Bateman were paid five dollars to print looo ballots 3x4 
inches in size containing the following printed form : 

For Name 

For Director 

For Clerk — 

For Treasurer 

They had no thought that they were applying the fundamental prin- 
ciple of a system that in a few years would be in use throughout the 

The cattle industry of the county had by this time become so im- 
portant that the stockgrowers desired the appointment of a branding com- 
mittee. The board named R. S. Vessey, Joseph O'Brien and the register 
of deeds, who entered upon their duties at once. 

During this day's session, Feb. 5th, the first negative vote by a mem- 
ber of the board was cast by the chairman on the proposition to instruct 
the deputy register of deeds to transcribe records of the commissioners' 
proceedings into the book procured by the county for that purpose. The 
motion carried by the vote of the other members of the board. 

At this time there was located on the ground now occupied by the 
Oliver hotel, a small building, about 14x20 feet in size, built by private 
subscription in the summer of 1883 for school purposes. This building 
was oflfered to the county at cost by the builders on the 5th day of 
February, 1884. On the 6th the commisioners closed a deal for the 
structure and the school which was then in progress was moved to the 
residence of Hiram Blowers, a short distance northeast of town. This 
was the first building owned by Jerauld county and since then no rent 
has been paid for court room, or offices for public officials. 

On the same day a resolution introduced by Mr. Melcher was 
Jidopted unanimously that no saloon license should be issued during the 
existence of that board. The same policy was pursued by each succeed- 
ing board until 1887, and has been the general policy of the county ever 
since. The prevailing sentiment of this people has been that any com- 
munity that depends for its prosperity upon the establishment of resorts 
of vice and crime, has something inately wrong in its make-up. 

Chapter 6. 

The register of deeds moved into the school hhouse immediately after 
its purshace by the commissioners and on the 19th day af February, 
1884, the board held its first meeting there. This meeting was a special 
one called by the county clerk for the purpose of appointing a surveyor, 
Mr. McFarlane having declined the position. 

The next day, the 20th, on the motion of Mr. Melcher, H. J. Wallace 
was given the appointment. 

The next meeting of the board was on March 5th for the purpose of 
canvassing the returns of the elections held in the various townships on 
the 23rd of February. The following is the result in the various town- 
ships : 

No. I. — Director, W. S. Scofield; clerk, J. M. Corbin; treasurer, Am- 
brose Baker. All the officers were elected without opposition. Name, 
Marlar, 13; Rock, 8. The township was named in honor of Wm. Marlar, 
one of the first settlers in the township. 

No. 2. — (The board made the following minutes) : The election was 
declared void on account of returns, showing that Henry E. Merwin had 
served both as judge and clerk of election; also the returns show that 
there is a tie in the choice of name for the township and by affidavits 
received at this office the clerk elect in township No. 2 was not eligible. 
Therefore the board desires that the people settle these questions. 

No. 3. — J. A. Riegal and D. B. Paddock each received five votes, but 
Paddock declined and Riegal qualified as director; clerk, H. A. Frick; 
treasurer, J. Long. Name, Lake ,5; May, 2; Alexander, 2 ; Banner, i; 
Freemont, i. 

No. 4. — Director, O. O. England; clerk, Wm. Murphy; treasurer, 
C. G. Smith. Name, Harmony, 12; Richland, 5; Clyde, i. The name 
was proposed by J. H. Shepard, who at that time had a pre-emption resi- 
dence on the northwest quarter of section ten of that township (108 — - 
66). Quite a little friction had developed among the settlers of that 
precinct in which lived a good many Quakers. The name "Harmony" 
appealed to their love of peace and good will and most of them cast their 
votes accordingly. It was afterward learned that Mr. Shepard had 
proposed the name in honor of his home postoffice in Chautauqua county. 
New York. 

No. 5. — Director, 1. Byam ; clerk, B. R. Shimp; treasurer, Samuel 
Marlenee. Name, Pleasant Valley, 15; Maud, 10; Minnie Todd, 3; 
Todd, I ; Minnie, i ; Columbia, i ; Excelsior, i. The township was named 
"Pleasant Valley" because of the fact that it lies across one of the most 
beautiful and fertile valleys in the whole territory. The territorial 


auditor, when the name was certified to him, rejected it as too long, and 
the board struck off the word "Valley" and christened the township 
"Pleasant," by which name it has since been officially known. 

No. 6. — Director, Joseph O'Brien; clerk, B. F. Jones; treasurer, Z. 
S. Moulton. Name, Custer, 23; Crow Lake, 15. 

No. 7. — Director, W. T. Hay; clerk, G. W. Bartow; treasurer, E. 
W. Chapman. Name, Dale, 29; Chery, 14. The name was suggested 
by Andrew Mercer, who with several other settlers had met at the 
residence of H. J. Wallace on the morning of the election to talk mat- 
ters over. During the talk a little boy in knee pants was playing about 
the house. Mercer inquired the name of the boy. Being informed that 
it was "Dale" he remarked, "Boys, that's a good name for our town- 
ship," and the name was adopted. The boy was Dale C. Wallace, after- 
ward treasurer and still a resident of Jerauld county. 

No. 8.- — Director, J. N. Cross ; clerk, Geo. R. Bateman ; treasurer, 
Wm. Hawthorne. Name, Wessington Springs, 39; Springs, i. 

The name was derived from the famous springs that flow from the 
foot of the hills. Who named the springs is not known. Wessington 
was a trapper who visited the hills and was killed in 1862 by the Indiaiis 
in the grove by the big spring. Mr. Cross, after qualifying resigned and 
on the 24th of April Mr. Hazard appointed K. S. Starkey in his place. 

No. 9. — Director, Samuel Moore ; clerk, Wm. R. Day ; treasurer, 
Chas. Walters. Name, Viola, 22; Butler, 19; Sabrina, i. The name 
adopted was in honor of Mrs. Viola Moss, a sister of Rev. J. N. Smith. 

No. 10. — Director, Walt Suerth; clerk, Rueben J. Eastman; treasurer, 
L. N. Loomis. Name, Alpena, 51; Newside, 3; Newark, i. The town- 
ship was named from the village located there. 

No. II. — Director, Joseph Doctor; clerk, David M. Black; treasurer, 
W. P. Pierce. Name, Franklin, 27. The name is in honor of Mr. L. E. 
Franklin, one of the early settlers. 

No. 12. — Director, A. I. Churchill; clerk, O. A. Knudtson ; treasurer, 
Joseph Steichen. Name, Lincoln, 51; Washington, 2; Black, i. 

After completing the canvass of the returns the board of commis- 
sioners ordered a new election for district No. 2, to be held on the i8th 
of March, 1884, but made no appointment of officers of election. Polling 
place again designated as Herring & Rice's store in the town of Wa- 

Another special session of the board was held on the 27th day of 
March for the purpose of settling with C. J. Anderson, register of 
Aurora county, who had been employed by the board to transcribe the 
records of Jerauld county property from the books of Aurora county 


into the Jerauld county books. The work was accepted and Mr. Ander- 
son was given a warrant for $440.85. 

By April 8th five separate petitions had been received by the register 
of deeds, from people in the eastern part of the county, asking for re- 
organization of their school townships on the lines of congressional town- 
ships. It was apparent that the plan adopted by the board was not at 
all satisfactory and so the petitions w^ere granted and the following order 
was made: 

"The nine school townships east of the line between ranges 65 and 
66 be made into nine school townships, according to congressional lines, 
except 8 and 14, and numbered as follows : 

No. 13 shall be township 108 — 65. 

No. 14 shall be 107 — 65 less the part given to 8. 

No. 15 shall be 106 — 65. 

The other six townships east will retain their names and numbers and 
the superintendent will fill the vacancies according to law, as they may 

No. 8 shall also include the east half of sections i, 12 and 13 of 

A special school township election was ordered for No. 13, 14 and 
15, to be held April 26th, 1884, to elect officers and select names. 

The following judges were appointed for these special elections: 

No. 13— C. W. Hill, P. B. Davis and H. J. Wallace. Polling place, 
residence of W. N. Hill. 

No. 14. — Conway Thompson, B. G. Cummings, and Charles lianson. 
Polling place, residence of Charles Beach. 

No. 15. — O. F. Kellogg, N. E. Williams and Gordon AIcDonald. 
Polling place, residence of Don C. Needham. 

On the same day, April 8th, it being found necessary to fix the salary 
of the county superintendent, an order was made giving that officer a 
salary of $200 per year and paying him for work that he should do, 

The returns from the second special election in school township No. 
2, held on March i8th, having been received, the board counted the 
votes and declared the following result : 

Director, Henry Herring; clerk, Wm. Austin; tjreasurer, W. .F. 
Ponsford. Name, Crow, 21 ; Buffalo, 4 : Waterbuy, 3 ; Spring Vale, i ; 
Pleasant Vale, i. 

The name was derived from the creek that flows across the township. 

Probably because of some possible error in the election, all of the 
above named officers were appointed to their positions by the county 
superintendent, May 27th, 1884. 


Chapter 7. 

The -county organization had now been in existence three months and 
the machinery was in fair working order. Nearly all the officers had 
been appointed and qualified. On April 9th J. O. Gray, J. P., residing 
in Alpena township, made the first quarterly report one case, and a fine 
of $1.00 collected. This was the only money collected in court for dis- 
obedience of the law, that year, and in fact the justices of the peace of 
the county have not in all the 25 years of the county's existence imposed 
fines enough payable to the county to pay for the books bought for their 
use by the county, during its first year. 

At this session D. W. Spaulding of Brule county, presented his bill 
for transcribing the records from that county for the part of Buffalo that 
had been annexed to Jerauld. The amount was only $15.75. The records 
were now all "at home," but unprotected against fire. The commis- 
sioners realized the necessity for a safe place in which to store the 
records. A safe was purchased and Commissioner Smart employed to 
bring it to Wessington Springs from Huron. The board was urged to 
select a permanent location for the county buildings and proceed with 
the erection of a court house with vaults at once. Numerous proposals 
had been received and more offers were made. In one case the county 
was offered land to the amount of five thousand dollars if the court 
house should be located on the tract offered. Of course, the commis- 
sioner scould do nothing about a final location of the buildings until 
after the November election, at which time the county seat would be 
permanently fixed. 

Four candidates for the location of the county seat were before the 
people, Wessington Springs, Templeton, Waterbury and Crow Lake. Mr. 
Ingham, who had purchased Mr. Dunham's interest in the Jerauld 
County News, moved the paper to the Templeton postoffice and be^an 
urging that location for the seat of county government. 

In the spring Mr. Ingham sold the paper to J. E. McNamara, of 
Rock Rapids, Iowa, a man of considerable ability as a writer. The 
greatest drawback to the Templeton candidacy was the want of water. All 
the water for use at the postoffice, store, and dwelling had to be drawn 
nearly a mile from a well near the south line of the section on M. D. 
Crow's homesetad. Mr. J. N. Cross, the owner of the Templeton quarter 
section — the NE of 7 — 107 — 65, made almost frantic efforts to find 
water. D. O. Hewitt, who owned a well augur, bored several holes a 
hundred feet deep and Wm. Skinner and Joe Collier, with carefully 
selected twigs, "witched" for water, but of no avail. All the holes 
were dry. 


As a last resort the advocates of Templeton for county seat abandoned 
that place and had a town surveyed on the SW of 24 in township 107 
— 66, which they named Lyndale, in honor of the man who permitted 
them to offer his farm for county honors. The Jerauld County News 
was moved to the new location and Mr. H. A. Robinson of Logan town- 
ship, put up a store building and opened a small dry goods and grocery 
store. The people were small in numbers but great in enthusiasm. Had 
the people of the west side been united the result might have been dif- 
ferent, but with three candidates in the two west tiers of townships the 
contest could hardly be a successful one. 

In view of all the county seat agitation it was idle to think of locating 
the county buildings until after the people had decided the matter. 

In the meantime the commissioners and the newly appointed officers 
went ahead with the county affairs. 

The two officers upon whom fell the most arduous labors were the 
assessor and school superintindent. The latter was untiring in his efforts 
to perfect the school system of the county. The tow^nships had to be 
organized, the officers instructed in their duties, under a system new to 
them, as well as to the county superintendent, bonds were issued, school 
houses built, teachers examined, schools supplied and opened and a 
thousand unmentioned little things that enter into the duties of that office, 
even in normal condition, multiplied incessantly in the establishment of 
an entirely new system. Add to all this the many neighborhoor quarrels 
over school locations and the employment of teachers that were sure to 
bring upon him the censure of all but one faction, if he interfered, and 
of all, if he did not, the criticisms of political rivals and factions — for 
politics was "red hot" in those days — and only the experienced can 
even imagine the trials Mr. Hazard encountered. 

' During the fore part of May, 1884, Mr. Wilson appointed as deputy 
assessors, B. F. Gough, of 106 — 64; M. D. Crow of Media, and George 
G. Strong, of 107 — 66. Every quarter section was visited, all improve- 
ments inspected, town lots examined and a valuation, necessarily arbi- 
trary, placed upon all. The work was done and the records of the equali- 
zation board show less of complaints than any other assessment in the 
life of the county. 

At the April session, 1884, the board fixed the compensation of the 
register of deeds for performing the duties of county clerk, now 
called county auditor, at $200 per year. 


Chapter 8. 

One of the greatest troubles of all countries, new or old, is the 
roads and of this the first board of Jerauld county commissioners had 
their share. It was the desire of this body of men to plan and carry out 
a system of highways. Mr. Smart remarked that all roads should "lead 
to Rome." Mr. Melcher responded that "Crow Lake is as much Rome 
as Wessington Springs." The result of this undercurrent of strife be- 
tween the two commissioners was that two systems were started, having 
two central points in the county. Mr. Fischer was satisfied if he could 
get a road near his farm in 107 — 63. This satisfied Mr. Smart, for it 
made Wessington Springs the west end of that road. The only town 
in Mr. Fischer's part of the county was left to get on as best it could 
without official representation on the county board. 

The road district overseers that had been appointed on the 5th of 
February had done nothing because of a misconception of the law then 
existing, that section lines were not highways until so declared by the 
county commissioners. By the time the board met in April the melting 
snow, full-running streams and numerous water holes over the county, 
caused a deluge of petitions for established roads and bridges. 

The bridge authorized on the second day of the first session of the 
board, Nov. 10, 1883, had been built and short approaches made, but it 
was found that in that case as in nearly all others the building of a 
bridge, while essential, is but a small part of the work necessary to a good 
crossing of a stream. A high hill, or bank, on the east side of the Fire- 
steel creek must be cut down and a long stretch of turnpike made on the 
west side. 

On the 8th day of April, 1884, the commissioners appointed Wm. 
Hawthorne, Elza J. Meutzer and J. M. Corbin viewers to report on the 
most practicable route for a road from Wessington Springs to Water- 
bury. The county surveyor was ordered to find the most practicable 
place for a crossing of the Firesteel creek. The next day Messrs. Mel- 
cher and Fischer, with Surveyor Wallace, Sheriff Spears, Postmaster 
Barrett, E. B. Orr and Silas Kinney went to the Firesteel and examined 
the section hue between sections 14 and 23, where bridge No. i had 
already been constructed. There they met Messrs. Nave, Haven and 
Rumberger, from the Woonsocket board of trade. They found bridge 
No. I surrounded with water, but unapproachable because of the soft 
condition of the water-soaked approaches. After floundering through the 
mud and water on this line they examined the one a mile further north. 
This looked as bad as the other and they decided to do nothing until the 
surveyor had submitted his report. 


The next day the surveyor was ordered to survey crossmgs on Sand 
Creek on the line leading to Alpena from the west between section i and 
T2 — io8 — 64, also the crossing on the line between 26 and 27 — 108 — 63, 
also the crossing of Long Slough between sections 10 and 3 — loS- — 63. 
He was also instructed to go to' 106 — 66 (Crow Lake) and survey a 
crossing of Smith creek between sections 26 and 27. 

On May ist the surveyor reported on the first three of the crossings. 
He said the crossing between sections i and 12 — 108 — 64 required a 
bridge 64 feet long and would cost about $275. That the bridge be- 
tween sections 26 and ^j — 108 — 63 should be 60 feet long and would 
cost about the same. He reported that in the long slough the citizens 
had already put up a bridge twenty feet in length, but that 890 cubic 
yards of grading was needed. 

The 3rd of June the board had another meeting at which on motion 
of Mr. Melcher, Messrs. Smart and Fischer were appointed a committee 
to examine the proposed Sand creek crossings, and intermediate points, 
to report at the July meeting. There is no record of any report having 
been made, except to number the bridge between 10 and 11 — 108^ — 63 as 
No. 8. On July loth O. F. Woodruff, who owned a farm on the south 
side of Sand creek, appeared before the board and urged the immediate 
construction of the bridges across that stream in accordance with the 
numerous petitions that had been filed. 

A few days later, July i6th, Commissioner Fischer was authorized 
to build two bridges across Sand creek, one between sections i and 12 — 
108 — 64 to cost not to exceed $100, and one on the line between sections 
20 and 21 to cost not to exceed $150. He was also authorized to put in 
a bridge across the Firesteel on the line between sections 26 and 35 — 
106 — 64, to cost not over $100. 

The greater part of the July session was devoted to the subject of 
roads and bridges. ]\Iany section lines were declared- highways and 
some were vacated, some of the "legal advisers'" of whom the board had 
many, contending that all section lines had been made highways by acts 
of congress and the territorial legislature. In 106 — 67 (Logan) the fol- 
lowing lines were vacated : Commencing at the quarter stake between 
sections 33 and 34 running north one and one-half mile to the northwest 
corner of section 27; also commencing at the southwest corner of section 
28, running east one and one-quarter miles. In lieu of the highway so 
vacated a new one was established as follows : Commencing at the south- 
east corner of section 33, running north one-half mile to the quarter 
stake between sections 33 and 34, thence east one-quarter mile, thence 
north on the 80 rod line and one and one-half miles to the intersection 
with the east and west road. 


With reference to the highways in township io6 — 66 it was ordered 
tl.iat "all roads leading from Crow Lake shall start at low water mark/' 

On the i6th of July the viewers of the Waterbury road having re- 
jiorted, the following record was made : "On motion the report of the 
road viewers on road from Wessington Springs to Waterbury was ac- 
cepted and a road, 66 feet in width, ordered established." This does not 
seem to have settled the matter, however, for a year later, July 9th, 1885, 
we find the county commissioners again considering the best route for 
a road over the Wessington hills. 

On July 7th, 1884, the board made an order making the boundaries 
of road districts identical with the school townships and appointing 
overseers as follows : 

Franklin — A. L. Eager. 
Anina — S. S. Moore. 
Logan — A. S. Fordham. 
Chery— W. N. Hill. 
Dale — Francis Eastman. 
Blaine— J. M. Wheeler. 
Media — B. F. Swatman. 

Chapter 9. 

The returns having been received from the special election held April 
26th, 1884, in the three school townships numbered 13. 14 and 15 (Chery, 
Media and Anina) the board on the ist of May resolved itself into a 
canvassing board. The results in the dififerent townships was : 

No. 13 — 

Director— C. W. Hill. 

Clerk— P. B. Davis. 

Treasurer — Michael Schaefer. 

Name — Chery, 17; Turtle Valley, 15. The name was in honor of Mr. 
C. M. Chery, a veteran of the civil war, one of the early settlers of the 
township and a man respected by all who knew him. 

No. 14 — 

Director — A. S. Beals, 

Clerk — E. L. DeLine. 

Treasurer — Theo. ' Dean. 

Name — Center, 12; Emma, 10; Templeton, 2. 


No. 15— 

Director — Orzo Kellogg. 

Clerk — ^Alonzo Cady. 

Treasurer — S. S. Moore. 

Name — No choice. Four votes were cast for "Butler," four for 

"Prospect" and one for . This result placed the duty of naming 

the township upon the county commissioners. When the matter was 
brought up the next day Commissioner Melcher remarked, "Four and 
four make eight and one is nine, let's name it Anina." 

The naming of townships was again before the board on the /th of 
July. The territorial auditor to whom the names had been certified, had 
for various reasons rejected several and the commissioners were in- 
structed to substitute. They named 106 — 66 Crow Lake, instead of 
Custer; 107 — 66 Pleasant, instead of Pleasant A^alley ; 106 — 67 Blaine, 
instead of Lincoln ; 106 — 67 Logan, instead of Lake : 107 — 65 ]\fedia, 
instead of Center. 

Thereafter the townships of the county were referred to by their 
names instead of numbers in official proceedings. 

In the summer of 1883 John Lawton settled on the NW quarter of 
section 20, in Harmony township. With him was his wife and five chil- 
dren. In the fore part of April, 1884, several members of the family 
were taken ill. The disease soon developed into diphteria. The house 
was the ordinary claim shanty, everywhere found in those days and the 
means of caring for the sick were extremely limited. Because of the 
dangers of spreading the terrible contagion the neighbors shrank from 
visiting them. Almost alone and unaided the mother saw her husband 
and children sicken and die. A young man named Anson Beals, living 
on the NW of section 30, of the same township, with a courage that 
won the admiration of all, gave his entire time to caring for the stricken 
family. He cared for the living and buried the dead. When the malady 
had run its course five new made graves, but a short distance from the 
shanty, marked the resting place of as many members of the family. 
May 1st, the matter being brought to the attention of the board of com- 
missioners, Mr. Fischer and Sherifif Spears were appointed a committee 
to investigate the case and make report. They reported on 
the 9th that they had inspected the premisses and found that 
all of the members of the family were dead but two. Mrs. 
Lawton and one little girl had escaped the disease. They had instructed 
Anson Beals to burn the building and contents, Avhich had been done. 
They estimated the property to be worth $50. The board issued a war- 
rant to Mrs. Lawton to compensate her for the loss of the property. 
At the special session on the 2nd of June, 1884, the board ordered a war- 


rant for $35 drawn "in favor of Anson Beals as a partial recognition of 
his heroic services in caring for the Lawton family" and on Nov. 14 
following the board rebated his tax for that year for the same reason. 
Neither the warrant nor the rebating taxes was intended as compensation 
for an act of such unselfish heroism, but only as an expression of the 
appreciation by the public of what the young man had done. 

On June 4th the commissioners appointed a board of insanity, com- 
posed of H. M. Rice, probate judge; A. M. Mathias, physician, and M. 
C. Ayers, lawyer. The appointment of this board was occasioned by 
the mental derangement of Emer Berjelland of Blaine township. 

Chapter 10. 

One of the most important sessions in the history of the first board 
was the one which began on the 7th day of July. In addition to road 
and bridge matters that occupied so much of their attention, the com- 
missioners had before them the work of equalizing the assessment of 
the county. 

The board of equalization was formed on the second day of the 
session, Mr. Smart continuing as chairman. The first act of the new 
board was to exempt from taxation the property of Lettie Berjelland, 
whose husband had become insane. 

Much of the land was still held under homestead pre-emption or 
timber culture entries and was not assessable. In the four villages of 
^the county the most of the lots shown by the recorded plats were held 
by the townsite owners. In Wessington Springs, at the time of assess- 
ment, but 60 lots had been sold, the balance being assessed to Scott. 
Burr, Bowen and Barrett. 

In Alpena but 30 lots had been sold, the remainder standing in the 
name of the C. M. & St. P. Ry. 

In Waterbury 32 lots had been sold, all the others being assessed 
to E. S. and D. H. Waterbury. 

Sulphur Spring was all assessed to Burrpee, Miller and Cooley, the 
townsite company, except five lots that had been sold. 

The highest assessments in Alpena on town lots were on two lots, 
$350 each ; one being lot 7, block 8, owned by the railway company, and 
the other lot 14, in block 3, owned by F. W. Whitney. 

In Wessington Springs the highest assessment on a single lot was 
$625 on lot 16, block 9, owned by Sarah L. Barrett. Lots 12, 13 and 14 
in block 11. ow^ned bv L. H. Tarbell, were assessed together at $2300. 


The highest valuation put by the assessor upon single lots in Water- 
bury was on lots 17 and 18 in block 3, both owned by H. M. Rice. 
Two hundred and thirty dollars on the hotel property, lot 8, in block 

6, owned by C. A. Conrad and R. A. Wheeler, was the highest real 
estate assessment in Sulphur Springs. 

In the various townships of the county the highest valuations were 
as follows: 

In Alpena township the following lands were valued at $600 each : 

Edward Barnes, NE of 14. 

Fred Gewald, SE of 14. 

James Gregory, N % of SE 15. 

Dan A. McKay, NW of 24. 

Isaac Pearce, SE of 24. 

Blaine — NE of 17, $900, tax $27.27, owned by John Ahlers. 

Franklin — SE of 14, $650, tax $9.95. owned by Andrew Hessdorfer. 

Viola — NE of 30, $1135, tax $40.07, owned by J. A. Tyner. 

Wessington Springs— NW of SW W half of NW and NE of NW of 

7, $1,000, tax $35.30, owned by Harmon E. Clendening. 

Dale — 21 quarters were assessed at $500 each, the tax was $22.65 
per quarter. 

Anina — SE of 18, $1,000, tax $30.30, owned by Joseph Motl. 

Media — NE of 7, $2600, tax, $73.58, owned by J. N. Cross. 

Chery — NE of 19, $563, tax, $14.26, owned by Helen L. Thomas. 

Crow Lake— N half SW and N half SE of 23, $1500, tax, $22.95, 
owned by Vauren Dusek. 

Pleasant— SW of 18, owned by J. M. Maxwell. $950, and N^^■ of 
23, by J. E. Sullivan. Tax on each $28.79. 

Harmony — NW 18, $472, tax $7.21, owned by Robert D. Titcomb. 

Logan — SW 5, $652, tax $18.45, owned by James H. Young. 

Crow — SE 28, $723, tax $25.50, owned by F. Merwin. 

Marlar^ — SW 25, $510, tax $12.91, owned by J. W. Lamb. 

The total valuation in the various townships was as follows : 

Per. Prop. Real Prop. Total 

Blaine 19,647 18,590 38.237 

Viola 22,522 12,825 35>347 

Anina 19,013 5o50 24.563 

Crow Lake 12.874 23,025 35-899 

Logan 1 1,434 24,527 35,961 

Franklin 16,282 26,682 

Wessington Springs '2.2,'j:sii 27,590 ^<^-2,2t, 


















Media . . . .' : 15.574 

Pleasant 17,929 

Crow 1 5,720 

Alpena 19,753 

Dale 8,892 

Chery 18,729 

Harmony 9,605 

Marlar 9,702 

Totals 241,809 2T^2,22.2 474,031 

The assessors' returns showed 1,1 11 voters in the county. 

The record shows that in Logan, Crow, Marlar, Harmony and Chery 
the board reduced the valuation of land owned by non-residents 10 per 
cent and that owned by residents 20 per cent. 

On July 1 2th the board settled with the treasurer and made the fol- 
lowing report : : 


Amount received from Ter. Treas. tax on C. M. & St. P. R.. . $26.7 r 
By J. O. Gray, J. P. fine collected i.oo 

Total - $27.71 


Amt. paid on warrant, No. i $6.34 

Treas. fees i-io 

Total $7-44 

Balance on hand $20.27' 

On the first day of Sept., 1884, the board fixed the rate of taxation 
for the county as follows : 

Road fund, 2 mills. 

Bridge fund, 2 mills. 

County school fund, 2 mills. 

Ordinary county fund, 6 mills. 

Total, 12 mills. 

The Territorial tax had been already levied by the territorial officer-, 
the amount being 3I/2 mills. 

Anina township filed a petition on the 2nd of September, asking for 
civil township government. It was referred and never heard of again. 


On Sept. loth the board fixed the polHng places and appointed the 
election judges for the first general election in the county. Again there 
was a complete change in the boundaries of the election precincts. The 
numbers were dropped and the precincts were designated by the names 
adopted for the school townships. Each precinct was named from the 
township in which the election was held. For this election the precincts 
and officers were as follows : 

Blaine — and all of \ iola lying east of Firesteel creek, at residence of 
Joseph Steichen. Judges, J. M. Wheeler, C. C. Wright and M. W. 
Young. . 

Franklin' — and all of Wessington Springs, lying east of the Firesteel 
creek, at residence of Wm. Houmes. Judges, Owen Williams, Wm. J. 
Houmes and W. P. Pierce. 

Alpena — At F. W. ^Mlitney's store. Judges, J. O. Gray, Wm. H. 
Arne and Chas. Eastman. 

Mola — That part of the township lying west of the Mresteel creek, 
at home of J. N. Smith. Judges, J. N. Smith, B. F. Gough, Jonas Tyner. 

Wessington Springs — All that part of the township lying west of the 
Firesteel creek, also the east one-half of sections i, 12 and 13 of Media 
and all that part of Dale township lying west of the Firesteel creek, to 
be held at the court house (register of deeds office) in Wessington 
Springs. Judges, Wm. Hawthorne, ^1. C. Ayers and E. A'. ]\Iiles. 

Dale — All that part of Dale and Chery lying east of the Firesteel 
creek, at residence of A. Alercer. Judges, A. Mercer, E. A. Palmer, O. 
W. Richardson. 

Anina — At home of Ozro Kellogg. Judges, A. D. Cady, W. R. 

Media — All except that part given to Wesington Springs, at home of 
T. A. ]^IcGinnis. Judges, T. A. AIcGinnis, Geo. Bennett, W. L Bateman. 

Chery — All except that part lying east of Firesteel creek, at home of 
C. W. Hill. Judges, C. W. Hill, J. W. McCullough, C. M. Chery. 

Crow Lake — At home of L. Deinderfer. Judges, Thos. Henning. 
John Conley, B. F. Jones. 

Pleasant — At home of O. E. Gaffin. Judges, O. E. Gaffin, S. Sower- 
wine, John E. Sullivan. 

Harmony — At home of L N. Rich. Judges, L N. Rich, Wm. Brim- 
ner, J. R. Eddy. 

Logan — Home of H. A. Robinson. Judges, Wm. Niemeyer, A. S. 
Fordham, J. B. Long. 

Crow— At office of A. Remington in Waterbury. Judges, Wilber 
N. Cross, H. E. Merwin, T. E. Herman. 


Marlar— At home of J. J. Groub. Judges, B. F. Alarlar. J. W. 
Lamb, J. J. Groub. 

Acting on the advice of the attorney general of the Territory, the 
board on the 6th day of November fixed the length of the terms of their 
successors, giving the one receiving the highest number of votes the three 
year term; next two years and the lowest one year. This gave Mr. J. 
E. Sullivan the long term and Air. Fischer the short term. 

The organization of the county was now complete. Nothing remained 
for the first board to do. On the 3rd day of January, 1885, the outgoing 
board settled with the treasurer and made report as follows : 

Taxes collected $622.39 


Receipts and warrants redeemed $64.22 

Treas. fees 24.89 

Total $89.11 

Cash on hand . . . . $533-28 

Chapter 11. 

While the county commissioners were striving to frame a county 
government other things were being done within the county that were 
of at least equal importance. 

On the 28th of September, 1883, a meeting had been held at the in- 
stance of Mr. A. B. Smart, to offer inducements to the ~SL E. church of 
Dakota Territory to locate their university at Wessington Springs. The 
matter was earnestly considered and a proposition made, but other towns 
and cities were in the field to get the much desired institution and Wes- 
sington Springs failed to secure it. 

In the fore part of November a move was made to get the Erie Tele- 
phone Co. to put in a line from Wessington Springs to Woonsocket. 
This also failed. 

About the first of September, 1883, the townsite company began 
putting in a system of waterworks connecting the big spring with Alain 
street. The pipe ran east from the spring and entered 2d street south 
of the Applegate building and then north along the east side of 2(\ street 


to the middle of INIain street. This work was completed about the mid- 
dle of November. A pipe coming out of the ground at the end of the 
system made a ver}- pretty fountain that for two years poured a constant 
stream. In a few weeks after fountain was establisred a mound of 
ice was formed that almost rendered the street impassable. A large 
reservoir was made and walled up with stone where the spring came 
out of the hill. A dam was put across the lower part of the pond 
and under it the pipe ran that carried the water to the village. A 
sluiceway at the top of the dam carried off the surplus water in a pretty 
cascade into the little creek that ran down through the grove. The 
low bushes and underbrush were cut out of the grove, rustic seats built 
and bridges put across the stream. In this way the company made the 
beginning of what they intended should be one of the most beautiful 
parks in the territory. For a number of years the grove about the spring 
was the spot to w'hich all picnic parties came from all parts of the 

In October, 1883, Rev. J. G. Campbell, then one of the ablest preachers 
in the territory, was made pa.stor of the jNI. E. church as Wessington 
Springs. Religious services were thereafter held in the church building, 
although the seats were made of boards. 

Strenuous efforts were made by the community for fitting Christmas 
festivities. On the 24th of December the church chairs arrived and put 
in place for the people who that evening attended the Christmas tree 
exercises in the new church. The new church building was dedicated 
Sept. 7th, 1884. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. I. N. 
Pardee. The building was entirely paid for when dedicated. The ladies' 
mite society had bought and paid for a carpet that cost $44.25 and had 
also purchased a new^ organ upon which they had paid $28.79. The 
building committee that had charge of the church construction was C. W. 
McDonald, president of the board of trustees, and R. S. Bateman. The 
church trustees at this time were Lucius T. Tarble, Chas. A\'. ^McDonald. 
Silas Kinney, R. S. Bateman, Harry Russe, F. T. Tofflemier. 

The M. E. conference in October, 1884, appointed W. D. Luther to 
succeed Mr. Campbell as pastor of the church. 

Other churches were organized in the county in 1884, one being the 
M. E. church at Alpena and the other the Friends church in Harmony 
township. The names of the charter members of neither of these organ- 
izations seem to be obtainable. The church at Alpena was incorporated 
June 21st, 1884, under the pastorate of Rev. O. E. Hutchins. Rev. L. C 
1 lurch received the conference appointment for this church in October, 


Geo.' R. Batcinaii. 

James A, McDonald 

E. r. Miles. Chas. W. McDonald. 

Ray Barber. 


At Waterbury and Sulphur Springs the religious services were con- 
ducted by Rev. John Cooley, C. V. jNlartin, Wm. Paganhart, S. F. Hunt- 
ley and others. The Methodists and Presbyterians each had a church or- 
ganization at Waterbury, but the records seem to have been lost. Neither 
society had a church building. The Sulphur Springs church building 
which had not been completed was moved to Waterbury, finished and 
made a public hall. This occurred in the early part of 1884 and ended 
the church history of Sulphur Springs. 

Additional Sunday schools were organized in the different townships 
of the county in the year 1884. 

In the Young settlement in Blaine township near Parsons a Sunday 
school was organized on the 20th of April, with Mr. I. Young, supt. ; 
Fred Kieser, asst. supt. ; Henry Wilson, sec. ; D. W. Young, treas. 

In Mola township religious services were held at the residence of J. 
N. Smith during the fall and winter of 1884' — 85, conducted alternately 
by Mr. Smith and L. F. Daniels. The meetings were held weekly. 

In Anina township a Sunday School was organized August lothj 
1884, at the residence of Mr. Williams, with Gordon McDonald as super- 

A Sunday School was organized at the residence of S. Souerwine 
in Pleasant township, April 27th, 1884, with fifteen members. Supt., A. 
J. Miller; Ass't. Supt., Mrs. H. C. Sowerwine ; Sec'y., Miss Josie Pryne ; 
Treas., Gailey. 

In Wessington Springs township a Sunday School was conducted at 
the residence of Mrs. Williams on the east side of Firesteel creek, until 
in October, 1884, when it was changed to the home of Wm. Hawthorne. 

An organization by the name of Eden Valley Sunday school in Alpena 
township, was conducted there the winter of 1884 — 85. The society had 
thirty members. 

In Chery township, after the school houses were built, a Sunday 
school was organized by T. L. White, j\Ir. and Mrs. Kinney, Mr. and 
Mrs. Georgia, Mrs. Townsend, Ed Linn, W. R. Lanning and others, at 
the Kinney school house. After the organization of the Sabbath school 
religious services were held at this school house regularly with preaching 
by Mrs. Huntley, I. N. Rich, F. M. Brown and others. 

As we have already seen, temperance work in Jerauld county began 
at an early date in. its history. Wessington Springs was the center from 
which this influence radiated to all parts of the county. 

It is certain that no other person did .so much to create a sentiment 
agamst the establishment of saloons in the county as Mrs. A. B. Smart. 
She was a member of the territorial W. C. T. U. and vice president of 
that organization for Jerauld county. On the 28th day of May, 1884, 


she made the beginning of organized temperance work in the county. On 
that day. in persuance of a call previously issued, she entertained a num- 
ber of ladies at her residence and perfected a local organization which 
they named the Pioneer W. C. T. U. The officers of this society were : 
Mrs. C. M. Spears, president; Airs. A. O. Jordan, vice president; Mrs. 
L. S. Shryock, recording secretary ; Mrs. R. J. Smart, corresponding sec- 
retary ; Mrs. Jane E. Bateman, treasurer. 

From the organization of the Pioneer W. C. T. U. dates the systematic 
nnd aggressive temperance >vork in the county. 

A county W. C. T. U. was organized Aug. 13, 1884, with Mrs. Smart, 
president: Mrs. S. F. Huntley, corresponding secretary; Miss Dona, 
recording secretary; Mrs. D. W. Shryock, treasurer, and a vice president 
in each township. 

A county temperance alliance was organized with R. Y. Hazard, pre- 
sident ; Wm. Hawthorne, vice president, and S. F. Huntley, secretary. 

On the day preceding that on which these two county organizations 
were perfected a county mass convention had been held at which much 
enthusiasm was manifested. 

On the 20th of June, 1884, the society obtained the use of one column 
of the Wessington Springs Herald for the publication of temperance 
articles. Thenceforth the W. C. T. U. column was a regular feature of 
that publication. The work was soon extended to all the other papers in 
the county and has been continued to the present time. A temperance 
alliance society was formed of which only voters were members, with 
Owen Williams as vice president, for Wessington Springs township. In 
November, 1884, a temperance circulating library was established. In 
December of that year a temperance literary society was organized in 
Franklin township. 

Many business changes occurred in the county during the year 1884. 

On December 22, 1883, the Bender drug store, that had up to that 
time been run by Chas. P. Taylor, in Wessington Springs, shut up shop 
and left the town. 

In March, 1884, A. E. Smart put up a building on the west side of 
3rd street a few blocks north of Main street and in it Dr. A. M. Mathias 
of Brooklyn, N. Y., opened a drug store in May. 

Stephen Bros, went out of business in the winter of 1883 — 84 and in 
April, 18,84, J. J. Barnes of Plankinton, started a drug store in the 
Stephens building. 

Chas. W. McDonald and W. I. Bateman organized the Jerauld County 
Bank in March, 1884. The next month M. D. and C. E. Thayer visited 
Wessington Springs on the 24th to look over the situation with a view 
to starting a private bank. These gentlemen were so well pleased with 


the location that they returned in a few days when C. E. Thayer arranged 
for the construction of a residence in the northwest part of the village, 
and rented of a lady named Ada L. Smith, lot 12, block 10, on the north 
side of Alain street paying therefor a rental of $6.00 per year, but re- 
serving the right to remove such improvements as he might make thereon. 
He then erected a building on the Smith lot at a cost of about $50, painted 
the word ''Bank" across the front of the structure, and on the 25th day 
of July, 1884, opened his institution for business. 

In the fore part of Alay J. H. Woodburn purchased the Applegate 
building and made it into a hotel, which he named the Woodburn House. 

J. H. Vessey and Allan Ransom formed a partnership and began a 
mercantile business on the 31st of May, that under different managements 
has continued to the present time. In October this firm was strengthened 
by the admission of S. H. Albert and R. S. Vessey as partners. The 
firm then built a branch store at Crow Lake, which was continued for 
several years. 

The first attempt to do a millinery business in Wessington Springs 
was by a lady named Harris, who located in J. F. Ford's office on the 
north side of Main street. 

On August 20th Silas Kinney sold his store building and stock of 
goods to N. D. Wilder, who continued the business until the next year. 

In other parts of the county business matters were equally active. 

At Crow Lake a firm by the name of Lodge & Derrick built a store 
building and put in a stock of groceries. This was done in June. 

In April. 1884, a man named Mills, who had worked at blacksmithing 
in Wesington Springs, in 1883, went to Crow Lake and began work in a 
shop that had been erected for him there. 

At Waterbury the postmaster, E. S. Waterbury, fitted up his office 
with the fixtures that he purchased from the Kimball office. This was 
in March. 

About May ist Rice & Herring sold their mercantile business to 
Pritchard & Kethledge, who came out that spring from some point in 

On July 4th Waterbury celebrated. But little is remembered, even 
by the oldest inhabitants, of the events of that day. All say, however, 
that the festivities were worthy of the time and place although Wessing- 
ton S])rings enticed their band away from them. 

l>y this time Sulphur Springs had lost greatly in the struggle with her 
rival town for existence. Her church and blacksmith shop had gone 
across the valley to Waterbury and in the latter part of Julv her news- 
paper. "The Buffalo FTerald." was sold to M. B. McNeil, who moved it 
to Duncan in Buft'alo countv and merged it in the American Home, 

])ublished at that place. In October Mr. McNeil moved his printing- 
office back to Waterbury, which gave that place two newspapers. 

On August 15, 1884, occurred the first death in Waterbury. A young 
man named John Murphy was digging a well on Henry Herring's resi- 
dence lot east of Main street. When he entered the well in the morning 
lie was overcome by foul air and died before he could be rescued. A 
grab hook was lowered and caught into the dead man's clothing. He was 
drawn about half way to the surface when the coat in which the hook 
was fastened appeared to be slipping. T. H. Null, the lawyer, volunteered 
to go down and fasten a rope about the body to prevent it falling back 
to the bottom of the well. This was done. After an appropriate funeral 
ceremony the body of Murphy was buried on the school section and there 
with one other victim of a tragic death it lies to this day. 

Chapter 12. 

It was a curious and anxious company that gathered about Dement & 
Leed's blacksmith shop in Waterbury one day in the autumn of 1883. 
For several days the two smiths had been busily at work manufacturing 
a piece of heavy artillery. Rumors were rife that great flocks of ducks 
were frequenting Cottonwood Lake in the north part of 108 — 66. No 
ordinary shot gun was considered equal to the opportunity and so at the 
instance of the sporting fraternity of the village the attempt had been 
made to make a vertiable cannon. Taking a piece of gas pipe about three 
feet in length they wound it with what wagonmakers and blacksmiths 
term "stake" iron. It is one inch wide and one-quarter inch thick. Hav- 
ing made a spiral winding with the stake iron solidly welded the whole 
length of the gas pipe, they reversed the spiral on about two feet of the 
first wniding and then put a third winding over about a foot of the 
breach of the cannon, making the gxm as they believed, strong enough to 
resist the explosive power of any load of powder that might be put into 
it. The gas pipe was then bored to make it smooth, a touch hole drilled 
through the iron casing of the breach, a strong breech pin put on and 
the thing was done. Now it was to be tested before being taken to the 
lake, and many were the guesses made by the crowd as they stood about 
the shop to see the wonderful duck gun tried. A large dry goods box 
was set up at a distance of 100 yards and the gun properly loaded, was 
trained on it through the open door of the shop. All were confident 
that the box would not be fit for ordinarv kindling wood after the gun 


was once fired. The thing was securely chained to a heavy saw-horse, 
when some one suggested tliat it might "bust." There was sufficient 
force in the suggestion to cause the onlookers to gather about the outside 
of the building and watch the result by peeping through cracks and knot 
holes. A long iron rod, that could be pushed through a hole in the side 
of the shop to the forge fire and then swung to the priming of the gun. 
was given to Joe Herring and then all waited for the iron to get hot. 
At last the end of the rod showed a tinge of red and Herring swung it 
to the touch hole of the gun. The noise was deafening. The great saw 
horse and cannon were lifted by the shock nearly to the joist of the build- 
ing, but the gun had stood the strain, and so had the box, for not a shot 
had touched it. Afterward the cannon was provided with sights, and 
mounted on a frame so that it could be easily trained upon any object. 
It afforded much amusement in the hunting seasons and abundance of 
noise on succeeding Fourth of July celebrations for many years. Several 
of these miniature canons were afterward made, one of which is now 
said to be at Gann Valley. 

In 1884 the business houses on the j\Iain street of Waterbury were 
arranged about as follows : 

The main, or business street of the town, ran north and south. Start- 
ing at the north end of Alain street and going down the west side the 
first structure was a tent in which a Mr. Rowe had a tin-type gallery. 
Next to that, on the south and at the corner of the block was Airs. 
Rowe's hotel, the Waterbury House, south of which ran an east and west 
street. A few years later this hotel was torn down and moved to Buf- 
falo county. On the south side of this street and at the northeast corner 
of the block was a building put up by Alaj. Rice, afterward Probate 
Judge, and Henry Herring, later a county commissioner. The building 
was two story 30x40. A few years later this building was sold to Air. 
Wilbur Doughty, who moved it to the old C. A'. Alartin farm northeast 
of town and made it a part of a mammoth barn, which was struck by 
lightning and burned some time in the later '90s. 

Then came Alartin & Putnam's law office, a one story building, which 
was finally made a part of Alartin's house on his farm. 

Next came .\llan Snart's grocery store, 20x32, afterward used for 
hardware and general merchandise by John Snart. This building was 
burned in the great prairie fire of April 28, 1809. It was two stories in 

South of Snart's store stood Bert Brown's residence, a small building 
that had been brought from Sulphur Springs. 

The next structure was J. AI. Hull's drug store and general mer- 


chandise store, afterward owned by O. P. Hull, and finally torn down 
and moved to Harvey, a suburb of Chicago, where it yet stands. 

The "Michigan Hotel," built by Light and Stanley, stood next to 
Hull's drug store. This was the building in which Chas. Gingery was 
cared for after the great blizzard of 1888. It was finally sold to Fred 
Holzer, who moved it to a farm in Bufifalo county. 

At the southeast corner of the block was Geo. N. Price's residence. 
This was the hotel put up by Dr. Jones in 1883. A few years later it 
was sold to Bert Healy, who moved it to Wessington Springs and now 
occupies it as a residence. 

On the northeast corner of the opposite block across the street south 
stood Price's livery barn. It also was later moved to Wessington Springs 
and made a part of the livery barn owned by Mr. Price at that place. It 
is now occupied by H. A. Butler. On the same lot a few years later 
]\Ir. Snart also built a barn which was also taken to the county seat. 

By the side of Price's barn Sam Leeds' blacksmith shop was placed 
when it was brought over from Sulphur Springs. A few years later 
Homer \'rooman bought that building and took it to his farm in the east 
part of the township. 

The next building was the last one on the west side of the street. It 
was the house, or shanty, brought out from Polo, 111., by Ed and Dan 
Waterbury in February, 1883. It now forms a part of Clark Wetherell's 
house at the Waterbury P. O. 

Then crossing" the street east and going north the first building was a 
barn owned by E. S. Waterbury, although further south, where the 
ground begins to slope ofif into the valley, J. A. Paddock and Rufus \\'il- 
son had a livery barn, built into the side hill. 

Fronting on the street about the middle of he block and north of 
Waterbury 's barn, was Henry Merwin's wagon shop. 

North of the wagon shop stood Wallace DeMent's blacksmith shop, 
in which the "canon" was made. Both these buildings were afterward 
bought by E. S. Waterbury and made a part of the barn above mentioned 
and burned in the fire of 1899. 

On the northwest corner of this block was a building erected by John 
Eagan and Henry Bass for a flour and feed store. It was 20x30 feet in 
size, one and one-half stories high. Later the rooms above became 
bachelor quarters for* 8 or 10 young fellows. The building was even- 
tually taken away. 

Then came an east and west street. On the north side of this street 
stood, where it now stands, the building now owned by W. E. Waterbury. 
The main part was used for a feed store, and contained the post office. 
Upstairs was the News printing office, founded by Samuel Dunlap in 


June, 1883. This paper had several owners in the next few years, among^ 
them being, Remington, Cross, Dunlap and C. V. iSIartin, the latter com- 
bining it with the American Home and the name was then changed to 
"The Waterbury Home-News." It was finally sold to B. B. Blosser, of 
the True Republican, and taken into that office at Wessington Springs. 

In the center of the crossing of the two streets a well was dug and 
walled up with stone. For twenty-five years it has afforded an abun- 
dance of the best of water for every thirsty creature that has passed that 

North of the post office was an implement shed where E. S. Water- 
bury sold farm implements and by the north side of that was Frank 
and Harry Waterbury 's meat market. Both of these buildings were one 
story structures. The machine shed was finally taken to E. S. Water- 
bury 's homestead on the NE of 28 — 107 — 67, while the meat market 
building was taken to Harry Waterbury's claim in Buffalo county. 

Next was the American HonYe printing office run by M. B. McNeil. 
That structure was moved by E. N. Mount to a claim held by him in 
Buffalo county. 

Beside the American Home office was E. N. Mount's harness shop, 
in later years purchased by W. E. Waterbury for use on his homestead, 
the NE of 9 — 107 — 67, where it stayed until "proof" for the land was 
made, when it was brought back to town and sold to Bert Healey. He 
used it for a harness shop and notion store in Waterbury for some time, 
finally taking it to Wessington Springs, where he continued to use it for 
the same purpose until it was burned in the fire that destroyed ]\I. A. 
Schaefer's drug store several years later. 

Then came A. N. Hill's hardware store, a two story building, with 
living rooms up stairs. It now forms a part of Clark Wetherell's 
barn at Waterbury P. O., on the NW of 26 — 107 — 67. 

By the side of the hardware store Mr. Hill put up a building intended 
for a temperance pool hall, and rented it to Wm. Eads. The enterprise 
was a failure and the table finally broken up. The building was moved 

The next was a two story structure having a law office below, where 
T. H. Null, now of Huron, S. D., first hung out his sign as an attorney 
at law. This building was put up by a man named Bond. In the room 
occupied by Null in 1884 a man named Hart afterward had his real 
estate office for several years. In the rooms up stairs C. Y. Martin, a 
year later had his printing office. What finally became of the building is 
not known. 

On the same side af the street was an implement shed run bv Val 
Martin, a real estate office by Remington and Pound, a shoe shop oc- 


cupied by Pat Sweeney, now of Sioux City, and another shoe shop run 
by Chas. Haas. Somewhere on the east side of the street Will Eads had 
a furniture store, probably in the same building where he started his 
pool hall. 

Late in the fall a public school house was built a few rods north of 
the business part of the town — about forty rods from the Waterbury 

The first minister located at Waterbury was a man named Bain, of 
the Presbyterian church. He was in almost mortal fear of Indians and 
wolves. He took a claim a few miles from town and had a shanty built 
on it. During the first night of his stay on the claim, the wolves were 
so noisy and came so close to his shanty that he never repeated the 
venture. He always carried with him, when going out of town, a brace 
of revolvers and a couple of knives. He stayed only long enough to 
"prove up'' on his claim and then returned to Ohio. 

While business was developing at Waterbury, J. X. Cross was trying 
to establish a mercantile business at Templeton, but with poor success. 

At Alpena, aided by the railroad,- the business interests made more 
rapid growth. 

In the spring of 1884, W. S. Crowthers started a livery stable, which 
he continued for several years. 

New grain houses were built in the summer of 1884, one by D. R. 
Putnam & Co., which was run by J. T. Johnston and one by Bassett, 
Hunting & Co., operated by a young man named ]\Iilham. Both these 
warehouses were afterwards changed to elevators. 

In this year Jack Crawford put up a blacksmith shop where he 
worked for a year or more. 

On the 19th of May, 1884, Mrs. Mary Barber, and Miss Betsy Litch- 
field opened a hotel in the building that had been formerly used as a 
hardware store and named it the Revere House. 

This year Chas. R. and D. S. jNlarwaring in company with Wm. \'oss, 
began operating a lumber yard at Alpena. 

On the northwest corner of Main and 2nd streets W. L. Arnold built 
a store used for general merchandise, which he occupied until 1886. 


Chapter 13. 

Educational work in the county began in 1883, with the numerous 
private, or subscription schools that were started in the various town- 
ships and continued until the public schools began in the summer and 
fall of 1884. 

I think I have mentioned all the private schools taught in the county 
in 1883, except the one commenced by N. J. Diniham in the latter part 
of December, in the building purchased by the county commissioners in 
February, 1884, for the register of deeds office. In that school were four 
of Mr. Kinney's children, five of Mrs. Blowers', two of J. W. Thomas', 
Lewis Stephens, Harry Taylor, now mayor of Mellette, S. D., and John 
Woodburn, now postmaster at Hinsdale, Mass. 

On January 14th, 1884, Miss Emma Cady began a private school with 
nineteen scholars in Rev. Wm. Paganhart's home in A'iola township. 

In the spring of 1884 Miss Rachel Crawford opened a school in a 
building near where the Dale Center school house now stands, which was 
attended by Mattie, Nellie and Robert Mercer, John and Rose Youngs, 
and Sarah, Alina and Lillie Chapman. 

In the village of Waterbury Miss Hattie Waterbury taught a private 
school in the summer of 1884, in George Waterbury's house. Among the 
pupils were Clara Leeds, now Airs. Wm. Fry of Aberdeen, Grace De 
Ment and children from the Prue, Rowe, Herring and Merwin families. 

In the summer of 1884 Miss Ida ^Martin taught a school in Anina 
township that closed Aug. 23rd. 

Early in the spring of 1884 Miss Helen Cooley taught a private school 
in a claim shanty near Sulphur Springs. 

The school boards of some of the townships made preparations for 
starting the public schools as soon as the townships were organized for 
school purposes. 

Supt. Hazard appointed the 1st day of April, 1884, for the examination 
of teachers. 

The first public school to be opened in the county was in Pleasant 
township on the 5th day of May, 1884, with A. J. IMiller as teacher. 

In July, 1884, the old log house that Mr. Smart had purchased from 
Levi Hain several years before was repaired, seats and desks, of rude 
make, put in it, and there Mrs. E. V. Miles, opened the first public school 
taught in the present limits of the city of Wessington Springs. 

The county school-text-book committee, composed of the following- 
persons, as delegates from the townships of the county, met on the 28th 
of June, 1884, at the county building in the county seat to select the 
lM)()ks to be used in the public schools: 


Alpena — L. N. Loomis. 

Custer (Media) — Theo. Dean. 

Pleasant Valey — B. R. Shimp. 

Wessington Springs — Wm. Hawthorne. 

Lincoln (Blaine) — L. F. Daniels. 

Viola — Fred Kieser. 

Anina — A. D. Cady. 

Of this committee. Supt. Hazard was chairman and B. R. Shimp was 

The Pioneer W. C. T. U. sent to attend this very important meeting 
a committee of its members as follows : Mesdames Hall, Smart, Spears 
and Albert. These ladies presented a petition to the text-book committee, 
asking that temperance books be selected, including "Elementary Tem- 
perance Lessons for the Young" and "Steeles Hygienic Physiology."" 
which were adopted. The committee then selected, "Robinson's Arith- 
metic," "Swinton's Geography," "Harvey's Grammar," "Ridpath's His- 
tory," and "McGuffey's Readers and Spellers." 

The first civil action brought in a Jerauld county court was the case 
of T. H. Null vs. B. R. Shimp, before F. T. Tofflemier in the spring of 
1884. N. J. Dunham was attorney for the plaintiff and R. M. Magee 
for the defendant. 

The first tax received by the county treasurer was from the C. M. & 
St. P. Ry. in the month of March, 1884, by way of the territorial treasurer, 
$26.71 on four miles of track in Alpena township. 

The first tax paid into the county treasury by a resident of the county 
was $1.00 school poll, by S. H. Melcher. 

The branding committee held its first meeting xA.pril 7th, 1884, R. S. 
"Vessey was elected chairman. No records can be found of any of the 
proceedings of this committee. 

Between May 2nd, 1883, and April 30th, 1884, three hundred and 
forty-five Jerauld county settlers made proof at the Mitchell U. S. Land 
Office for 55,200 acres of land. 

The first matter to come up in the county probate court was the ap- 
pointment of an administrator for the estate of Chas. Burger of Harmony 
township, who had been killed by lightning. The appointment was made 
May 5th, 1884. 

In the summer and fall of 1884, railroad projects were numerous and 
some surveys were made. One was a line known as the Huron & South- 
western to reach the Missouri River by way of "Wessington Springs. 

In August of that year it was announced that a road would be built 
at once from Sioux Falls to the Missouri river, going through Jerauld 
county by way of Crow Lake and "VVaterbury to Fort Thompson. 


In the summer of 1884 jNIr. i\I. W. Young, of Blaine township, burned 
a kiln of 25,000 brick, which he offered for sale. This was the first and 
probably the only, effort ever made to establish a brick yard in the county. 
He took one wagon load to Wessington Springs on Sept. loth, and for 
some time kept a notice running in the Herald offering the brick for 
sale at his farm in Blaine township. 

The first auction sale ever held in the county was at the farm of J. 
A. McDonald, south-east of \\>ssington Springs, by Robert Johnston, 
who offered for sale i cow, 100 chickens, i Champion mower, some car- 
penter tools and house-hold goods. N. D. Wilder was auctioneer. 

During the summer and fall of 1884, Hiram Blowers and Calvin Ott 
■were dealing in grain at Wessington Springs. 

The first coroner's inquest in the countv was on the body of Allan 
Brayton, at the residence of ]Mr. Barber in Franklin. The Coroner was 
Dr. D. F. Royer and the jury was composed of Isaac Pearce, F. W. 
Whitney and W. C. Corother. The date of the inquest was ^lay 23rd, 
1884. The verdict was, death by accidental shooting. 

F. T. Tofflemier resigned his position as Justice of the Peace July 7, 
1884, and M. C. Ayers was appointed to fill the vacancy. 

In November, 1884, Airs. Spears began building the office part of the 
Willard Hotel on the corner lot south of W^ilder's store. 

Several changes w^ere made in the mail service of the count}- during 
the year 1884. On the ist of ]\Iarch the line from Elmer (Wessington 
Springs), to Huron was discontinued and a daily line established between 
Elmer and Woonsocket. 

A post office named Gordon was located in October at the residence 
of Elijah Aloon on section twenty-six in Anina township. It was sup- 
plied by the Elmer-Plankinton line. 

In Chery township Stock P. O. Avas established in June, with M. E. 
Small as postmaster. 

On May i, 1884, the Elmer-White Lake mail line was changed from 
a weekly to a semi-weekly service, leaving Elmer Tuesdays and Fridays, 
and returning Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

A tri-weekly mail service was established between Elmer and \\'ater- 
bury, on July ist, Avith G. N. Price as carrier. The round trips were 
made on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, leaving Elmer in the 
morning and returning in the evening. The compensation was $390 per 

One of the most gratifying things done for the people of Wessington 
Springs by tlie Post Office Department was changing the name of the 
office from "Elmer" to that of the town in which it was situated. For 
months the ]:>eople had petitioned for the change without success. ]\lanv 


had despaired of getting their wish granted. But Mr. Peter Barrett, the 
postmaster kept up hope and persevered. At a meeting of the board of 
county commissioners in the summer of 1884, Mr. Barrett made an ofifer 
of twenty-five dollars to anyone who would get the change effected, ]\Ir. 
Melcher, one of the commissioners, told him to renew his petition, settting 
forth in it that the school township and the platted village were both 
named Wessington Spring, that the newspaper published in the town was 
named the Wessington Springs Herald, then have it signed b}' the 
county officials and bring it to him. This was done. Mr. Melcher then 
sent the petition to his personal friend, Gen. John Eaton, at Washington., 
v/ith a letter requesting that he go personally to the Postmaster General 
and ask that the change be made. The petition was granted at once and 
the change made to take effect October i, 1884. Mr. Barrett paid the 
twenty-five dollars by giving Mr. Melcher a deed to a lot in Wessington 
Springs, which he held for several years and then sold to O. J. ^Marshall. 

In the wdnter of 1883 — 84, ]\Ir. Stetson, who kept the Stetson P. O. 
in 106 — 66, proved up on his land and then resigned his position as post- 
master. The office was then moved to Chancy Barber's house on the 
NW of 35, wdiere Mr. Barber kept a small stock of groceries. In the 
latter part af May, 1884, Mrs. O. E. Gaffin became postmisteress and 
took charge of the office, which she retained until the office was moved 
to Lyndale and the name changed, March i, 1885. 

In May 1884, the people of Wessington Springs and vicinity began 
to make preparations for a Fourth of July celebration. Mr. T. D. 
Kanouse, one of the foremost orators of the territory was engaged to 
deliver an address; the Waterbury brass band was employed, and many 
games advertised. On the 31st of May, those interested in the base-ball 
held a meeting and organized a team, with J. T. Johnston as captain. 
The team began practice on a diamond located near where the Univer- 
salist church stands. In June a challenge was sent to the ball nine at 
Woonsocket for a match game at Wessington Springs on July 4th. The 
challenge was not accepted and an invitation was then extended to Alpena. 
Here they found a team willing to cross bats with them and arrangements 
were perfected. 

In the latter part of June, Mr. A. S. Beals and Mr. Hindman were 
employed to make a liberty pole which was set up on the 2nd of July, at 
the center of the crossing of Main and Second Streets. 

A galvanized iron tank made by Morse and LaPout was placed over 
the big spring- and the water works pipe extended into it so that people 
on the street could have cold water direct from the fountain head. 

The celebration was a success, for although a storm cut short the 
oration, the ball game was won by the home nine with a score of 23 to 


15. This was the beginning of ball playing in the county and led to 
many close and exciting games in the years that followed. 

A county fair association was organized June 4th, 1884, with O. G. 
Woodrufif, of Alpena, president and j\I. D. Crow, of ]\Iedia, secretary. 
The committee on bylaws was composed of J. F. Ford, of Wessington 
Springs, H. A. Pierce, of Harmony and M. D. Crow. At the organiza- 
tion twenty-six shares were sold at $10 each. This amount was increased 
to sixty shares on July i6th, and was further advanced to one hundred 
on July 23rd. The society then proceeded to incorporate the members 
mentioned in the charter being E. S. Waterbury, S. H. IN.Ielcher and J. 
F. Ford. After incorporation the association elected permanent officers 
as follows : 

President — O. G. Woodrufif. 

Mce President — E. S. Waterbury. 

Secretary — J. F. Ford. 

Treasurer — S. H. Melcher. 

Executive Committee — W. J. Wiliams, W. I. Bateman, B. G. Cum- 
mings, W. T. Hay, and Wm. Austin. 

The dates set for the fair were Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 
October 14th, 15th, and i6th, 1884. For exhibition three hundred and 
forty-one entries were made. First premiums were awarded as follows : 

S. H. Melcher — 2 yr. grade Durham heifer; Suffolk sow and pigs; 
Sufifolk sow ; and best display of farm products and garden peas. 

M. W. Young — 2 yr. bull ; roadster stallion ; and stallion for all 

C. W. Hill — Durham cow ; 4 yr. thorobred bull ; thorobred Durham 
calf; early potatoes, late potatoes and pumpkins. 

O. G. Woodruff — Grade Durham bull five years old. 

Mrs. E. H. Wheeler — Thorobred calf. 

L. G. Wilson — Six-year-old Jersey cow. 

B. F. Eagle — Two-year-old stallion ; i yr. old lilley ; and carriage team. 
W. T. Hay — One-year-old horse colt. 

L. F. Russell — Four-year-old gelding ; span of two-year-old mares : 
three-year-old mare ; best team for all purposes. 

Ed Dwyer — Spring colt. 

E. Nesmith — Three-year-old stallion. 

O. F. Woodruff — Farm or draft stallion. 

R. Vanderveen — Draft team. 

John Dukes' — Two coarse-wool bucks; two coarse-wool ewes: i yr. 
1.>uck and flock of five sheep. 

C. B. Blake — Fine-wool bucks ; fine-wool ewes. 
FT. Blowers — Three pigs. 


W. Brownell — One boar pig. 
M. A. Cummings — i yr. old Berkshire boar. 
R. M. Magee — Best display of poultry. 
E. H. Ford — Plymouth Rock fowl. 
S. Young — Pekin ducks. 
J. S. Lynn — Flax. 
Wm. Arne — Onions. 
W. Towner — Squashes. 
J. O. Shryock — Cabbage. 
H. Lowder — Field corn. 
E. L. DeLine — Carrots. 

Lady Equestrian — ist prize, Aland Tofflemier; 2nd, Mrs. K. Shryock. 
In the baby show W. V. Dixon's baby girl won ist prize, $io, offered 
by Mr. P. R. Barrett. 

Chapter 14. 

Politics, like the buffalo, the Indian and Coyotes, seems to be indigen- 
ous to South Dakota. From the fact that white men seemed to become 
imbued with it as soon as they crossed the boundary line, in the old ter- 
ritorial days, the idea has become prevalent that the disease was here 
ahead of them. 

The first political meeting in Jerauld county, after its organization, 
was in April, 1884. The occasion was the election of one delegate tO' 
represent the county at the territorial republican convention called to meet 
at Huron April, 23, to select delegates to the national convention. 

The meeting was held at the office of the register of deeds, April 
19th and was a "Masse" affair composed of eleven or twelve voters, N. 
J. Dunham was selected as the delegate. 

The first regular caucus held in the county was the one which met at 
the county building in Wessington Springs on Feb. 15th, 1884, for the 
purpose of nominating school officers and a name for the school towai- 
ship. The first motion was by Mr. A. B. Smart in nominating W. I. 
Bateman for the chairmanship of the meeting. After the caucus had 
disposed of the business pertaining to the schools, it proceeded to elect 
a county committeeman for the Republican party of the county, that was 
expected to be formed in the near future, and also a Republican township 
committee. J. F. Ford was elected to the county committee, and E. L. 


TDeLine, W. I. Bateman and C. W. McDonald were made a committee 
for the precinct. 

It had been planned to have the same course followed in all the town- 
ships, but some neglected it and only the following members were elected 
to the county committee. 

Wessington Springs — J. F. Ford. 

Crow— U. E. Babb. 

Harmony — H. A. Pierce. 

Franklin — I. P. Ray. 

A call for a meeting of the committee to be held on May 4th, 1884, 
was made by Mr. Ford, about the middle of May. The committee met 
•at the time appointed and preceeded to organize the party for the county 
l)y filling the vacancies in the county committee and appointing a com- 
mittee of three for each township. J. F. Ford was elected chairman of 
the county committee and M. D. Crow, secretary. The township com- 
mittees were as follows : 

Marlar — J. M. Corbin, Frank Marlaur and C. C. Sapp. 

Crow— U. E. Babb, E. S. Waterbury and C. V. Martin. 

Logan — James Long, William Niemeyer and Z. P. DeForest. 

Harmony — O. O. England, L N. Rich and N. J. Dunham. 

Pleasant— A. W. Dean, O. E. Gaffin and John Sullivan. 

Crow Lake— D. F. Moulton, R. Y. Hazard and S. H. Melcher. 

Chery— P. B. Davis, H. J. Wallace and G. W. Bolton. 

jMedia — M. D. Crow, Conway Thompson and B. G. Cummings. 

Anina — S. S. Moore, O. F. Kellogg and A. D. Cady. 

Dale — O. W. Richardson, A. Mercer and Frank Eastman. 

W^essington Springs — C. W. McDonald, Wm. Hawthorne and W. I. 

Viola — J. M. Primmer, L. G. Wilson and Wm. Dixon. 

Alpena^ — L. N. Loomis, F. W. Whitney and D. F. Royer. 

Franklin' — ^Joseph Doctor, W. P. Pierce and D. M. Black. 

Blaine^B. Wheeler — (probably J. M. Wheeler). M. W. Young and 
Thos. Bigger. 

On August 1st the committee called the first delegate republican con- 
vention to meet at the county building in Wessington Springs on the 
6th day of Sept., 1884, at i P. M. to transact the following business: To 
elect two delegates to attend the congressional convention to be held at 
Pierre on Sept. 17, 1884; to select six delegates to attend the legislative 
-convention at Mitchell, Oct. 8th ; to nominate county officers and elect 
a county central committee. The townships were given representation 
as follows : 

Blaine three ; Viola three ; Crow Lake three ; Anina two ; Logan three ; 


Franklin three ; Wessington Springs two ; Media two ; Dale two ; Pleasant 
three; Crow three; Alpena three; Harmony two; Chery two; Marlar 
two ; Making a total of thirty-eight. 

The committee also appointed a committee for each commissioner dis- 
trict of the county as follows: 

No. I — L. N. Loomis, Albert Gunderson and J. M. Wheeler. 

No. 2— J. E. McNamara, A. J. Lowder and B. F. Goff. 

No. 3 — H. A. Pierce, E. S. Waterbury and Joseph O'Brien. 

In 1884, Jerauld county had no regularly elected member of the 
district legislative committee, but when the committee met at Mitchell on 
July 31st, O. G. Woodruff of Alpena, attended the meeting and was 
permitted to represent the county. 

On the 6th day of Sept.", 1884, the first delegate convention of the 
Republican party of Jerauld county met according to the call of the com- 
mittee, and organized by electing Thos. H. Null, of Waterbury as botl' 
temporary and permanent chairman, F. B. Phillips, of Alpena and E. J. 
Mentzer, of Crow Lake, were elected to attend the congressional con- 
vention, and H. Herring, O. W. Richardson, D. F. Royer, G. McDonald 
and Joseph O'Brien were sent to the convention at Mitchell. The county 
ticket nominated was as follows : 

Register of Deeds — L. N. Loomis. 

Probate Judge— T. H. Null. 

Clerk of Courts — Albert Gunderson. 

County Attorney — N. J. Dunham. 

Supt. of Schools — J. T. Johnston. 

County Treasurer — H. A. Pierce. 

Assessor — R. S. Vessey. 1 

Coroner — D. F. Royer. 

Sheriff— J. M. Spears. 

Surveyor — J. M. Corbin. 

Justices' — ^O. E. Gaffin, W. L. Davis, H. P. Jones and C. E. Hackett. 

Constables — Jacob Rosenthal, W. E. Dement, Mark Williams and J. 
C. Johnson. 

The result of the convention was very unsatisfactory to a large num- 
ber of people of the county. The local paper. The Herald, refused to 
publish the proceedings of the convention and for several weeks did not 
even print the ticket. It was evident from the date of the convention 
that a bitter fight was pending. No record was preserved of the per- 
sonel of the convention, and I have been compelled to rely upon my own 
memory and that of others who were delegates, or attendants, on that 
memorable occasion. The following is the list of delegates as nearly 
correct as I have been able to ascertain. 


Alpena— F. B. Philips, O. G. Woodruff and D. F. Rover. 

Dale — ^John Teasdale and O. W. Richardson. 

Chery — H. A. Miller and — • — . 

Harmony — J. R. Eddy and Daniel Alitchell. 

]\Iarlar — J. AI. Corbin and T. J. Hunt. 

Crow — T. H. Null, H. Herring and C. V. Martin. 

Pleasant' — S. Marlenee, James Foster and Moses Shaw. 

Media — Theo. Dean and M. D. Crow. 

Wessington Springs — J. A. McDonald and E. L. Smith. 

Franklin — W. P. Pierce, O. O. Lindebak and L. J. Grisinger. 

Blaine — J. M. Wheeler, Geo. Rychman and Thos. Bigger. 

Viola — J. A. Tyner, M. W. Ncsmith and T. K. Ford. 

Anina — N. E. Williams and C. E. Little. 

Crow Lake — ^Joseph O'Brien, Thos. Henning and E. J. Mentzer. 

Logan^ — J. A. Riegal, H. A. Robinson and H. A. Frick. 

Although that first delegate convention was charged with all sorts 
of political chicanery, it was probably as fair as any that have followed. 
Each candidate did his best to win and to accomplish that result he and 
his friends resorted to ever}' available known political maneuver. Before 
the day of the convention the Republican party in the county had become 
divided into two factions, so bitterly opposed that reconsiliation was im- 
possible. The defeated candidates went out of the meeting firmly deter- 
mined not to be bound by the result. 

Although a candidate for clerk of courts had been nominated, the 
nomination was in no way effective, for the supreme court decided, a few 
days later, that that officer was appointed by the judges in the different 
districts and not elective. 

The Democrats of the county met at the Wessington Springs on Sept. 
13th to organize that party. John N. Dynes, of Dale township, was 
chairman of the meeting and B. R. Shimp, of Pleasant, secretary. A 
county committee was elected consisting of one member from each town- 
ship, as follows: 

Alpena — Geo. D. Canon. 

Dale — John X. Dynes. 

Chery — Ben Drake. 

Harmony — Jeff'. Sickler. 

Marlar • 

Crow — LT. E. Babb. 

Pleasant — B. R. Shimp. 

Media — John Kugler. 

Wessington Springs — R. M. Magee. 

Franklin^ — L P. Ray. 


Blaine — 



Crow Lake — Mr. Hoffman. 


Mr. G. D. Canon was elected chairman of the committee. The fol- 
lowing resolution, introduced by Mr. Magee, was mianimously adopted . 

"Resolved, that the Democratic party of Jerauld county. Dak., as 
organized this 13th day of Sept., 1884, is in favor of a just and fair 
representation of all the legal voters of the county in the selection of 
county officers, and declares itself opposed to all rings and caprices 
gotten up by any party, or set of men, for the purpose of benefiting a 
few favored individuals." 

All the commissioner district conventions were held on the 27th of 
Sept. In the first district Mr. Fisher was nominated, without opposition, 
to succeed himself. In the second district Mr. L. G. Wilson, of \'iola, 
was nominated at Wessington Springs, to succeed Mr. Smart. In the 
third district the convention was held at Waterbury and was the most 
stubbornly contested of any convention ever held in the county. The 
convention met at 2 P. M. and continued, with an intermision of one 
hour for supper, until eleven o'clock that night. The candidates were 
S. H. Melcher and Joseph O'Brien of Crow Lake and J. E. Sullivan, of 
Pleasant. On the last ballot O'Brien's strength went to Sullivan and 
he was nominated with one majority. Sixty-seight ballots were taken. 
On the 3rd of Oct., Chairman Canon published the first call for a de- 
mocratic nominating convention, to meet at Wessington Springs on Oc- 
tober nth. 

Meanwhile the trouble in the Republican ranks was taking the form 
of organized opposition. 

A mass convention of those opposed to the Republican ticket nomin- 
ated on the 6th of Sept. was called to meet Oct. 25th, to nominate a 
people's ticket for county officers. This call was issued Oct. 10, and was 
signed as follows : 

O. O. England, I. N. Rich. W. A. Miller, O. J. :^Iarshall, William 
Bremmer, J. O. Grey, E. A Sowerwine. Gordon McDonald, X. E. Wil- 
liams and M. W. Nesmith. 

The Democrats met in mass convention persuant to the call issued by 
the committee chairman. The Waterbury brass band was engaged for 
the occassion. A motion was made to wait until the meeting of the dis- 
satisfied republicans and then "fuse" with them, but it was voted down 
and the convention proceeded to put in nomination a full county ticket. 
The candidates named were: 

• 122 

Register of Deeds — G. D. Canon. 

Sheriff- — G. F. Hodges. 

Clerk District Court^ — R. M. IMagee. 

Probate Judge — H. M. Rice. 

Treasurer — C. E. Thayer. 

Coroner— Dr. J. U. Hull. 

Surveyor — H. J. Wallace. 

Supt. of Schools — B. R. Shimp. 

Justices — U. E. Babb, O. E. Gaffin, M. C. Ayers and J. O. Gray. 

Constables — Henry Krumwied, ]\Iark Williams, John Ivugier and 
L. W. Castleman. 

On October 24th, Mr. T. L. Blank announced in the Wessington 
Springs Herald that he was an independent candidate for election to the 
position he then held, that of register of deeds. 

The next day, Oct. 25th, the peoples convention met at the county 
building in Wessington Springs. The room was not large enough to 
hold the enthusiastic crowd. O. O. England called the meeting to order 
and Thos. Whiffin was made chairman. O. J. Marshall, C. E. Thayer 
and J. A. Tyner were appointed a committee on resolutions. The voting 
was by ballot on the positions of register of deeds and county treasurer. 
The balance of the ticket was nominated by acclamation. On the position 
of register of deeds seventy-four votes were cast, of which T. L. Blank 
received forty-six, H. C. Stephens fifteen and L. N. Loomis thirteen. 
For treasurer W. J. Williams received sixty-nine votes and C. E. Thayer 
nine. When completed the peoples ticket was as follows : 

Register of Deeds^ — T. L. Blank. 

Supt. of Schools — R. Y. Hazard. 

Sheriff — J. M. Spears. 

Probate Judge — H. M. Rice. 

Treasurer — W. J. Williams. 

Assessor — R. S. Vessey. 

Coroner — M. W. Nesmith. 

Surveyor — J. M. Corbin. 

Justices' — Hirafti Freeman, E. A. Herman, M. C. Ayers and J\I. W. 

Constables — Fred Strasser, H. P. Jones, J. C. Johnson and L. W. 

The committee on resolutions made the following report which was 
adopted : 

WHEREAS : The nominations for the public officers of this, our 
home, Jerauld county, have to a certain extent been made by a ring of 
political tricksters, instead of by the people of the county, be it 


Resolved, The people of Jerauld county, in mass convention, do here- 
by protest against all such dishonesty, trading or trickery, which tends 
to defeat the will of the people. 

Resolved, That we hereby invite all those interested in the cause of 
honest politics, irrespective of party, to join us in the coming election, 
in obtaining a fair square expression of the true will of the voters of 
Jerauld county. 

Resolved, That we do not advocate the creation of factions, or side 
issues, but demand that good will and peace may be united in securing 
the express will of the people. 

On October 31st Mr. Hazard announced himself an independent can- 
didate for the position of Co. Supt. of Schools. 

The candidates were now all in the field and the issue fully under- 
stood by everybod}^ in the county, which was — who shall have the offices. 
To this was added a quadrangular fight for the county seat. 

Crow Lake, though unplatted as a town, and Waterbury, had both 
entered the race as avowed candidates, Lyndale had been platted in 
August, and was making a hard struggle. 

On October 31st the Wessington Springs Herald printed a bond in 
the sum of $2000 for the fufillment of the "combined proposition" that 
bad been accepted by the county commissioners on Jan. 18, 1884. To 
this bond was attached the names of C. S. Burr, D. A. Scott, C. E 
Bourne, P. R. Barrett, A. B. Smart and Mrs. R. J. Smart. The election 
occurred on Nov. 4th. The bond was never heard of again. 

The contest continued until the last vote was cast on election day. 
The result was as follows: 

Register of Deeds — L. N. Loomis. 

Supt. of Schools — J. T. Johnson. 

Sherifif— J. M. Spears. 

Probate Judge — H. M. Rice. 

Treasurer — W. J. Williams. 

Assessor — 'R. S. Vessey. 

Coroner — D. F. Royer. 

Surveyor — J. M. Corbin. 

County Commissioners : 

1st District — H. D. Fisher. 
2nd District — L. G. Wilson. 
3rd District — J. E. Sullivan. 

County Seat — Wessington Springs, 395 ; Lyndale, 285 ; Crow Lake. 
71 ; and Waterbury, 64. 

For Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Hazard was defeated by one vote. 

On Nov. 14th, after the returns of the election had been canvassed 


and the result declared, the chairman of the board of commissioners, on 
motion of Mr. Alelcher, was instructed to proceed to secure title to the 
county of the property specified in the "combined proposition." Nothing" 
further was ever done about it. 

For the position of county attorney the canvassing board refused to 
count the vote, on the ground that the county was not entitled to such 
an officer. The matter was made the subject of a good deal of bitter 
discussion for several months and finally dropped. 

Chapter 15. 

After the excitement engendered by the political campaign of 1884 
had subsided, affairs went on toward the development of the county 
along many lines. 

In the latter part of December, 1884, Judge A. J. Edgerton of the 
2nd judical district, of which Jerauld was a part, made an order attaching- 
that county to Aurora for judicial purposes. 

The season of 1884, like the preceding one, was propitious. There 
was no frost in the county until October 6th, and all crops were secured 
in excellent condition. 

A few losses had been occassioned by fires, which will be mentioned 
in a chapter devoted to that subject exclusively. 

The result of the vote on the location of the county seat, of course 
put an end to all hope of making a town at Lyndale. Within a few weeks 
after the vote was taken ]Mr. McNamara took the Jerauld County News 
back to Wessington Springs and opened a printing office in a building" 
that had been erected for him about where the fire house now stands. A 
few months later the building in which the paper had been printed at 
Lyndale was sold to E. L. Smith, who moved it, also, to Wessington 
Springs and placed it on Blowers addition to that town. 

C. E. Thayer was appointed deputy treasurer on the 29th day of 
November, 1884, by W. J. \\'illiams. ]\Ir. Thayer qualified three days 

In 1885 the winter set in on the 6th day of January, and continued 
very cold until about March 15th. when it "broke," and the settlers began 
their spring work. 

During the month of February, 1885, E. H. Ford had a notion store 
in his building on the south side of Alain St. in Wessington Springs. 

In March, 1885, Vessey Bros., Ransom & Co. built a machiner}- ware- 


Mrs. E. V. Miles. 

C. E. Hackett. 

IVessington Springs Band at Alpena, July 4th, 1885. 


house on the northwest corner of Main and 2nd Streets. It stood until 
\'essey Bros, built the new store in 1903. 

During- the same month (March) L. N. Loomis began hauling lumber 
for a residence on College Ave. in Smart's Addition to Wessington 
Springs, and R. S. Vessey began excavating for his house in the county 

About the ist of April, John Chapman moved his blacksmith tools 
from his farm on section 17 — 107 — 64, into a new shop just completed 
by L. H. Tarble. 

About the same time the teacher and pupils in District No. i of Wes- 
sington Springs township, set out twenty-eight trees furnished them by 
Mr. Tofflemier, and Mr. L. G. Wilson of Viola, offered a tree to each 
pupil in the township if they would plant it where they expected to attend 

In the second week in June a culvert was put in the ravine on Main 
St. between 3rd and 4th Streets. A small bridge had already been put 
across the ravine in the block east, but while these crossings were good 
enough for the summer, the ice in winter for several years closed the 
passage and formed a slippery mound tht rendered the road almost im- 
passable during the cold weather. 

On June i8th, 1885, Vessey Bros., Ransom & Co. began digging the 
cellar for a new store building on the southwest corner of ]\'Iain and 2nd 
streets. A few days later ]\Ir. Marlenee began work on the building, 
which the firm occupied Sept. i, 1885. 

August 20th of that year two young men came to Wessington Springs 
from New Lisbon, Wis., to look over the situation with a view to locating. 
They were so well pleased with the prospect that they immediately pur- 
chased the stock of the N. D. Wilder store and a week later the adver- 
tisement of Roth Bros, appeared in the local papers. 

The county commissioners on July 24th let to W. S. Scofield the con- 
tract for grading the road located by the county over the hills west of 
town, going on the north side of the draw west of the big spring. The 
contract price for the work was $198.00 and Mr. Scofield agreed to put 
in the culvert provided for in the arrangement with ]Mr. McDonald, for 
$25.00. The work was completed in the forepart of September. 

On Sept. 13th the road overseer of Wessington Springs township be- 
gan the first work on the Main street of the village. 

During the summer a census of the county was taken, which gave 
the county a population of 2,103 and Wessington Springs township 345. 

A young man named James Waters came up from Sioux City in the 
forepart of October, 1885, and opened a pool hall in the Housel fr 
Arnold building, which had been recently vacated by Vessey Bros., Ran- 


som & Co. This building' stood on the south side of Main St. where 
Shull's drug store now stands. 

In November, 1885, Thomas Drake put up the building on the north 
side of Alain St. in Wessington Springs, now occupied by Ausman and 

About the same time Airs. Spears moved the office part of what she 
afterwards named the Willard Hotel, from the lot south of Roth's store, 
where it was built, to the ground upon which it now stands. 

In December of that year, J. H. Woodburn and F. M. Brown formed 
a partnership to do blacksmithing and woodwork in a shop west of 2nd 
street and north of Main street in Wessington Springs. 

At Crow Lake Mr. Lodge dissolved his partnership relation with Air. 
Derrick and formed business relations with Chas. Ferguson. This con- 
tinued until June 3rd, 1885, when the firm sold out to J. T. Glasham, 
who conducted the store for many years, x^bout the same time the people 
of Crow Lake and vicinity petitioned the county commissioners to put a 
public highway around the lake. The petition was dismissed. 

In Alay of that year Airs. Allyn and Air. Lodge employed T. L. Blank 
to survey and plat the townsite of Crow Lake, on some land owned by 
them at the southwest corner of the lake. 

At Lyndale H. A. Robinson, having finished his building, put in a 
stock of groceries in February, 1885, and kept up the business until later 
m the year he sold to W. A. Pound. 

At Alpena a number of business changes were made in the year 1885. 

Ray Barber engaged in livery business, using the barn that stood back 
of the hotel. 

A lady named Harris purchased the building formerly occupied by R. 
Davenport as a restaurant, and continued the business. 

J. T. Johnston, County Supt., built the third grain warehouse and 
continued to do grain business in it until he sold to McAIichael in 1887. 
This warehouse was changed to an elevator in' 1901. 

On the loth day of December occurred one of the most important 
events in the social and business life of Alpena. This was the organiza- 
tion of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The charter members 
of the lodge were seven in number: Daniel F. Royer, WilmotW. Hillis, 
Charles Davis, Leopold Dietz, John C. Zimmerman, W. W. Huxtable and 
Andrew Westdahl. There were thirteen initials at the first meeting of 
the lodge, viz.: W. T. Hay, Ray Barber, L. J. Pratt, F. W. Whitney, 
C. R. Alanwarning, J. R. Alilliken, E. J. Makemson, W. A. Linn, L. H. 
AlcCarger, R. Davenport, L. J. Ale Williams, Lewis Fenstemaker, and 
Frank Adams. Of the men present at that meeting only Ray Barber 


and ^^'. W. Hillis remain in the town. The lodge now has a membership 
of 72, while the Rebekah lodge has nearly 100 members. 

About the first of January, 1885, L. N. Loomis, being compelled to 
spend most of his time in the registers office at Wessington Springs. W. 
L. Davis again took charge of the Jerauld County Journal, and continued 
to manage the paper until J\Ir. Loomis rented the Journal office, paper 
and all, to L. H. ]\IcCarger, July 25th, 1885. 

The year 1884 had seen the town of Sulphur Springs gradually grow 
smaller by the removal of one building after another until with the close 
of the year but one remained, — the hotel was occupied by the family of 
R. A. Wheeler. The night of January ist, 1885, was a pleasant one and 
mild for that time of the year. Sometime in the night a fire broke out 
in the hotel and the next morning but a heap of smouldering embers 
market the spot where the last Sulphur Springs land mark had dis- 

The churches of the county had more trouble during the year 1885 
than other institutions. 

At Alpena, L. C. Burch, the conference appointee for reasons best 
known to himself and the church left his charge in IMarch and was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. W. H. Hoadley, who remained until the close of the con- 
ference year. On Oct. -3th. Rev. J. Trewartha was placed at Alpena 
and Wessington Springs by the conference and proved satisfactory to the 
people and the church. At Wessington Springs the year was welcomed 
at a watch meeting in the M. E. Church. At this meeting as the clock 
indicated the hour of midnight, Mr. C. W. McDonald arose and in a ten 
minutes talk delivered an address that has seldom, if ever, been ecjualed 
in the county. 

W. D. Luther, appointed by the conference in October, 1884, to suc- 
ceed Mr. Campbell, was asked before spring to resign the charge and 
seek some other place. Luther was succeeded by L. F. Daniels, who was 
confirmed as pastor July i6th, 1885, put shortly after resigned. He was 
followed by IMr. W. H. Jordan, who supplied the place until i\Ir. Tre- 
wartha came at the beginning of the conference year in October. 

The church at W^aterbury had lost their church building, but the public 
school aft'orded them ample accommodation. Thev were fortunate, 
however, in receiving Rev. Paganhart as the appointee from the con- 

.At the residence of C. G. Smith on the NE of 35 in Harmony, the 
h'riends began holding religious services and Sunday School February 
1st. 1885. 

.\ few days later Mrs. C. G. Smith began teaching a private school at 


her home, which was attended by her daughter Ora and by Walter and 
Marion Grieve. 

About the same time Mrs. S. B. Knowlton began a school at the home 
of her father, Lewis Nordyke on the SW of 17 in Harmony township, 
which was attended by her brother Charley Nordyke, her daughters, Ger- 
tie and Ollie Knowlton^, and Anna Titus. 

April nth, 1885, the Friends began holding meetings in the Grieve 
school house in Harmony township. 

Mrs. S. F. Huntley, of Harmony township, was recorded in the 
Friend's Church as a minister of that denomination, July loth, 1885. 

In 1885, from the house of Mr. Huntley, on the SE of Sec. 33 — 108 
-—66, eighty-one residences could be counted. 

The first township teachers institutes in the county were held in Chery 
and Pleasant townships in February, 1885. Those in Chery were called 
by C. W. Hill, director, and those in Pleasant by G. W. Trollope, town- 
ship school clerk. 

The new board of county commissioners, J- E. Sullivan, L. G. Wilson 
and H. D. Fisher took the oath of office January 5th, 1885, and Mr. 
Fisher was made chairman. 

January 6th, 1885, the treasurer's bond was fixed at $20,000. The 
next day the Jerauld County News was made official paper of the county. 

January 15th the county clerk's (register of deeds) salary was in- 
■creased to $300 per year and County Supt. to $250. On the same day 
R. S. Vessey and Joseph O'Brien were reappointed members of the county 
brand committee. The board made Dr. E. L. Turner and R. M. Magee 
members of the board of insanity, the probate judge, H. M. Rice, being 
the other member by virtue of his office. 

On April 28th, 1885, the townsite company and Hiram Blowers 
■ofifered the county four blocks of lots if the commissioners would locate 
the court house on the hill, where it now stands. The offer was accepted. 
There is nothing to indicate that this was in any manner a substitute for 
the "combined proposition" about which so much had been said during 
the year 1884. 

But little, aside from the routine work of the county, was done by 
the commissioners in the year of 1885. On July loth the board requested 
Judge Edgerton to make Jerauld county a judicial subdivision. The re- 
quest was granted on the 24th of the same month and the order detaching 
Jerauld from Aurora county was entered in the court records by clerk 
McDonald, Aug. 4th, 1885. 

August 26th the board requested Mr. Samuel Marlenee to prepare 
plans for a court house and vault, and instructed the clerk to advertise 


for bids for building- the same, the bids to be opened the first Monday in 

On the 7th of Sept. the tax levy was made as follows : County gen- 
eral fund, 6 mills ; bridge fund, 2 mills ; road fund, 2 mills ; and county 
school fund, 2 mills. The territorial levy for that year was three and 
seven tenths mills. 

The bids for building the court house being opened on the day ap- 
pointed, the contract was let to Sam Alarlenee. The plan, called for a 
building 32x40 ft., two stories high. The vault to be of double walls. 
8x6 ft., inside measure. The structure was to cost not to exceed $2,000, 
of which the county agreed to pay $1,750 and certain persons in Wessing- 
ton Springs $250. The contract required the completion of the structure 
by the 15th of Nov.. 1885. On Sept. 2nd Wm. Brinner began building 
the foundation for the court house and on the evening of Nov. 12th a 
dedicatory ball in the court room celebrated the finishing of the work. 

The dance at the new court room on the 12th of Nov., 1885, was a 
notable occasion. People were in attendance from all parts of the county. 
The committees were as follows : 

Arrangements — L. N. Loomis, Theo. Roth, of Wessington Springs. 
L. H. McCarger. of Alpena, Sam ]\Iarlenee of Waterbury, J. E. Sullivan, 
of Lvndale. 

Invitation — R. J. Hughs, Crow Lake ; Chas. R. Manwareing, Alpena ; 
Geo. Corkings, Woonsocket Spring; and Chas. Hopkins of Waterbury. 

Reception — C. E. Thayer, J. T. Johnston and Wm. ■\Iundie. 

Eloor Managers — G. N. Price, C. E. Hackett, W. J. Williams and 
Allan Ransom. 

The commissioners about the loth of Deceml^er ordered a steel cell 
that, when put together in the county jai-1, should cost not to exceed 
$1,025. The building formerly used as the office of the register of deeds., 
was moved on to the hill near the court house and in it the steel cell was 

At the close of the year 1885 the county treasurer and register of 
deeds, issued a statement of warrants issued and taxes collected since the 
organization of the county. The statement was as follows : 

1884, warrants issued $6,539- 17 

1885. warrants issued $6,819.96 

Total $13,359-13 

1884 and 1885, taxes collected $4,271.27 

1884 and 1885, taxes due $5,478.73 

Total $10,200.00 

Warrants in excess of resources $3,159.13. 


On the 6th day of November, 1885, Mr. James A. ^McDonald drove 
his steam threshing machine engine up the grade over the Wessington 
Hills about 11 :30 A. J\I., and when he reached the top of the hill beyond 
the grade he stopped and opened wide the whistle. It was the first note 
of its kind ever heard west of the foot hills in Jerauld county. 

The story of Jerauld county business houses will not be complete 
without at least mention of Ed Leon, oldest traveling salesmen for Shenk- 
berg Co., Martin Jaquemai, salesman for Hornick, Hess & Moore, whole- 
sale druggists since 1887, and Geo. Rew, for Knapp & Spencer, a whole- 
sale hardware firm, all of Sioux City. During near to a quarter of a 
century the}^ have travelled over the prairies of Jerauld county, in heat 
and in cold ; in sunshine, and in storm ; by livery team, by stage coach and 
by railroad train ; always a good word for the county, a pleasant smile 
and a cheering word for their customers, these men of the grip have been 
through all that time a force for the development and welfare of the ter- 
ritory over which their work carried them. With the exception of the 
Austin failure at Waterbury, in 1887, when Leon's house lost between 
three and four hundred dollars, these men have not sent in a bad order, 
nor their firms lost a penny in the county. 

Late in the autumn of 1884, a move was set on foot at Woonsocket, 
as an incident of the Sanborn comity county-seat fight to get an act passed 
by the legislature that should meet at Bismarck in January, 1885, dividing 
Jerauld county, and attaching its three eastern townships to Sanborn, and 
to compensate Jerauld county for its loss of territory, the scheme com- 
prehended the annexation of Buft'alo county to Jerauld. The move 
aroused quick and furious antagonism in both Jerauld and Buffalo coun- 
ties. A meeting was held at Alpena in Januar}^, attended by men from 
all parts of Jerauld county, and Mr. O. G. Woodruff', of Alpena, was 
sent to Bismark to lobby against the bill. The move failed and the county 
boundaries were not disturbed. 

A meeting for the purpose of organizing a farmers" alliance was 
called by a notice published in the county papers Feby. 13th, 1885. The 
call was signed by Mr. C. W. Hill, of Chery township. An organization 
was perfected, having an alliance in each township with a central county 
council. For several years this society was of immense assistance to the 
farmers of the county in selling produce and in obtaining supplies. At 
this time I have been unable to get any trace of the records of this 

The stock holders of the Jerauld County Fair Association met at Wes- 
sington Springs, January 6th, 1885, and elected, B. G. Cummings, presi- 
dent; H. E. Merwin, vice-president; Allan Ransom, secretary, and S. H. 
Melcher, treasurer. The board of directors was composed of Richard 


Vanderveen, J. M. Corbin, O. G. Woodruff, H. Blowers, W. R. Day, 
M. W. Nesmith, M. W. Young, H. A. Aliller, E. S. Waterbury, W. J. 
Williams and W. T. Hay. The executive committee was composed of 
C. \\'. Hill, J. F. Ford, L. N. Loomis, W. I. Bateman and H. W. Lowder. 

The legislature that adjourned in the fore part of Alarch, 1885, by 
an apportionment act made the eighth council and representative district 
to consist of Jerauld, Sanborn and Beadle counties. 

Before the 1885 session of the territorial legislature had adjourned it 
was apparent that another effort was to be made to divide the territory 
and induce congress to admit South Dakota into the union. Provision 
was made for a constitutional convention and $20,000 appropriated out of 
the territorial treasury to defray the expenses there of. 

In Jerauld county the statehood movement of 1885 was taken seri- 
ously by the politicians of both parties. The county was accorded two 
delegates in the constitutional convention which was called to meet at 
Sioux Falls in September. A county convention was called for June 
20th and S. F. Huntley, of Harmony township and Albert Gunderson 
of Wessington Springs nominated to represent Jerauld county. Two 
days later C. W. Hill announced himself an independent candidate for 
the position of delegate to the constitutional convention. In his announce- 
ment Mr. Hill declared for the "initiative"' in legislation, in the same 
form in which it was adopted into the state constitution in 1897. He 
also advocated the pure food law as it passed congress twenty-one years 
later. The election of delegates occurred June 30th, Air. Huntley received 
237, Air. Gunderson 181 and Air. Hill 54 votes. 

At no time in the history of the county has temperance work been 
carried on more energetically than during the few months prior to the 
special election of November, 1885. The experience of 1883 led the pro- 
hibitionists to determined and systematic work all over the proposed 
state. From the beginning they had the campaign in Jerauld county well 
in hand and practically controlled the election. The result was not as 
decisive as was anticipated because of the small vote polled. 

This time both prohibition and minorit}' representation were suljmittcd 
to the people to be voted on with the constitution. By the middle of 
October a full set of state legislative and judicial candidates had been 
nominated. For the purpose of this election Jerauld and Aurora coun- 
ties were placed together as a senatorial district, while lerauld stood 
alone as a representative district. 

A senatorial convention held at Plankinton, Octol^er 26th, nominated 
E. V. Alilles, of Jerauld Co. as the Republican candidate for senator. For 
representative, S. F. Huntley, of Harmony township, was nominated at 


a convention held in Wessington Springs, Oct. 17th. At the same time 
O. G. Woodruff, of Alpena was nominated for county judge. 

The Democratic party of the proposed state refused to have anything 
to do with the election for state and county officers under the statehood 
movement. Yet Mr. J. W. Harden of Franklin township became a demo- 
cratic candidate for the legislature and M. C. Ayers announced himself a 
candidate for county judge. 

Anticipating that prohibition would be submitted to the people of the 
proposed state the temperance workers became active early in the season. 
On July 4th, 1885, the band of hope, a. childrens temperance organization, 
had a membership of fifty-one in the county. The work of extending- this 
society was carried on by Mrs. Nettie C. Hall, president of the county W. 
C. T. U. July 17th, forty-five members of the band of hope met at the 
school section east of M'essington Springs and were taken to Woonsocket 
for a pleasant da}^ with the organization there. ]\Ieetings of the county 
W. C. T. U. were held at different parts of the county. One meeting 
was held at Waterbury, another at Alpena and one at Wessington Springs. 
July 26th a band of hope was organized at Dale center school house, an- 
other at school house No. 4 in Chery, on Aug. 2nd. 

A Sunday School was organized at the Nelson school house in Anina 
township, July 5th, with A. Hodgson Supt., E. Moon, Ass't. Supt., and 
Ida Kellogg Sec. and Treas. In the same township a W. C. T. U. Society 
was formed in the latter part of October with \lrs. A. D. Cady president. 

In Viola township a W. C. T. U. was organized in October. Mrs. 
Susan Smith, president. 

A Band of Hope was organized in Wessington Springs, July 5th, 
under the superintendency of the Pioneer W. C. T. U. Mr. John Kugler 
was engaged to make twenty wooden guns and thirty wands for the chil- 
dren and to drill them in certain movements. The members of the band 
were supplied with caps and the society had two flags that they carried 
on all gala occasions. 

During the County Fair exhibition in September the members of the 
W. R. C. and the Pioneer W. C. T. U. maintained a "temperance home" 
on the fair grounds. 

On the 20th of September the W. C. T. U. celebrated the centennial 
of temperance work in America. 

At Alpena a local W. C. T. U. was organized July 22, Mrs. Daniel 
Kint, president ; Mrs. R. Davenport, vice president ; Mrs. Wm. Arne, 
secretary; and Mrs. C. D. Worral, treasurer. August i6th was a notable 
day because of the large crowd that gathered to witness the dedication 
of the M. E. Church building. 

In Harmony township a W. C. T. U. was formed early in April. 


On the Sabbath evening- prececHng election day a temperance concert 
was held at the AI. E. Church, which was announced to be "free and no 

Election day came and Pioneer W. C. T. U. established a booth near 
the polls where hot coffee and were served free to all who would 

In the county the vote polled was light. The constitution was elected 
by 563 to 41. Prohibition carried by ^zC^ to 302, but was defeated in the 
following townships : 

Alpena — 38 to 24. 

Franklin — 42 to 28. 

Blaine — 57 to 13. 

Dale — II to 9. 

A'iola — 20 to 15. 

Logan — 24 to 6. 

INIarlar — 21 to ii. 

Prohibition carried the proposed state by 15.552 to 15,218. 

IMinority representation was defeated in the county by 401 to 185, but 
carried in the following townships: 

Blaine — 39 to 29. 

A'iola — 16 to 15. 

Chery — 12 to 9. 

Harmony — 17 to 8. 

l'\ir capital Pierre carried Jerauld county by a vote of 494 to 188. 
In the townships the vote for Pierre and Huron stood as follows : 

\\'essington Springs 











Crow Lake 




































In the county the vote for A. C. ^Mellette, the repubUcan nominee for 
governor was 517 to 7 for F. i\I. Ziebach, the democratic canchdate. 

Robert Dohard, of Scotland, repubhcan canchdate for attorney general, 
carried the county by 518 votes. 

For Judges of the Suprem.e Court the vote in the county was as 
follows : 

Dighton Corson, 518; A. G. Killam. 519: and John E. Bennett, 518. 

That is all of the state officers who were elected when the state was 
admitted in 1889. C. H. Dillon, of jNIitchell. was elected Judge of the 
Circuit Court, but was not a candidate in 1889. 

The vote for legislative and county officers was as follows : 

State Senator — E. V. Miles, Republican. 495 ; Daniel Webster, Demo- 
crat, (of Aurora) J},. 

County Judge — O. G. Woodrufif, 381 ; ]\I. C. Ayers, 261. 

Representatives — S. F. Huntley, 405 ; J. W. Harden. 232. 

A natural phenomenon occurred in the late summer and early autumn 
of 1885. Up to that time every lake of a few acres in extent had been 
dotted all over with cone shaped dwellings of muskrats. In August of 
that year, though there was abundance of water in the lakes and ponds, 
the little animals began to emigrate. They left the lakes and for weeks 
were scattered over the dry land, evidently leaving the country. Before 
the cold weather arrived they were gone and for fifteen years these fur- 
bearing animals were absent from the county. 

Chapter 16. 

Section two of Logan township was the scene of the most tragic event 
in the history of the county. This chapter will have only to do with that 
event and therefore will be confined to the NW quarter of the section. 
This quarter was the pre-emption claim of Joseph B. Reaser, who made 
proof for it on the 29th day of August, 1883. January 7th, 1886, he 
deeded it to Wm. S. Combs. It became a part of the Combs & Harris 
ranch, however, in 1883, and the ranch buildings were placed there. 
Near the southeast corner of the quarter, in a broad level valley rises a 
small hill — what is often termed a "sugar loaf." This hill is about 30 
feet in height, and can be plainly seen from all the country surrounding 
the valev. For a long time in the vears 1883 and 1884 it served as a land 


mark for people passing back and forth through that portion of the 
county. A pole 20 or 25 feet lang had been erected on the top of this 
knoll and from it floated a flag from which the rain and sun at length 
■vashed and faded the colors until finally it was only a white cloth, whip- 
ped and tattered in the wind. 

The pole was set in a pit about five feet long, four feet wide and four 
or five feet deep, around which a dry stone wall had been built. It is 
reported that the hole was dug by Reaser in the hope of finding some- 
thing of value in the hill. In the fall of 1883 this quarter was leased by 
Reaser to Combs & Harris, the lease containing the provision that the 
lesees should not dig into nor take anything from the hill. The general 
shape of the hill is round. At the southeast part of the base a hole was 
dug into the hillside, and into it a shanty, 22x14 feet with 7-foot ceiling, 
was built. The building contained but one room. To this room there 
were two doors, one at the south end, swinging out and leading out doors 
and the other at the north end leading into an underground cave that 
had been dug back into the hill. There was a half window on each side 
of the room and one at the south end above the ceiling. 

The furniture in the room was arranged about as follows : A safe, 
or cupboard, stood against the east wall of the room near the southeast 
corner. A few feet north of the cupboard stood a leaf table. In the 
northeast corner, and also in the northwest corner, was a bed, made of 
m.attresses and bedding laid upon bed springs, which rested upon the 
floor. Near the center of- the room stood the cook stove, the pipe going 
up through the roof. 

About 30 or 40 yards west of the house was the horse stable, also set 
into a hole dug in the side hill. 

About 25 yards south of the shanty and stable was the corral for the 
horses when running- out. 

The road from Waterbury to Crow Lake passed from NW to SE 
going but a few rods south of the hill. 

The ranch contained 800 acres. Combs & Harris, the partners who 
owned the ranch, came from St. Louis in the fall of 1882 and established 
themselves on this tract. These men were both frequently away from 
home and during much of three or four years they operated the place it 
was left in charge of the hired help. 

Many wierd and dark things are hinted at by the old settlers to the 
things done at that isolated ranch. In the fall of 1885 Peter Rohbe and 
Ben L. Solomon were employed about the place. Both were men of 
strong physique and quick tempered. Hard stories are told concerning 
each of them. Rohbe was a native of Sweden, while Solomon was born 
and raised at Glenwood, Mills county, Iowa. Card playing, gambling 


and quarreling seems to have been the chief amusement. 

One evening a party, inchiding Solomon and Rohbe, were returning 
from a trip to White Lake. In the darkness they became confused and 
lost their way. For some time they drove on without knowing in what 
direction they were going. Rohbe became terribly enraged and threat- 
ened them all with the direst punishment if they lost him out there on 
the prairie. They arrived at home safely, however, and nothing came 
of Rohbe's threats. The feeling between the two men was not at all 
kindly and on several occasions Solomon was heard to say that he "ex- 
pected he would have to kill that Swede." 

On the evening of the i6th of November, 1886, Z. P. DeForest and 
A. E. Hanebuth, who lived on claims near to the Combs & Harris ranch, 
chanced to meet at the ranch shanty for a neighborly visit. In the course 
of the evening Solomon told some simple story which in no way reflected 
upon any one present. Rohbe looked Solomon squajely in the eye and 
remarked, "that is a lie." Solomon's face flushed, but he controlled him- 
self and the incident passed. 

On the morning of the i8th of November, 1885, just about daybreak. 
Ben Solomon mounted a mule at the Combs & Harris ranch and started 
along the road toward Waterbury. He did not seem to be in any great 
hurry, nor greatly excited. He did not whip the mule, but rode leisurely 
as one on an ordinary ride for a social visit with a neighbor. His ap- 
pearance was not ordinary. One side of his face was covered with blood 
which was running from one ear. The top of the ear had been cut off. 
There were other light cuts about his head and his garments were stained 
with blood spots in several places. 

Back in the shanty which Ben Solomon had just left lying with his 
back to the floor and his face toward the ceiling, a bullet hole through his 
right arm, a bullet hole through his heart, and a bullet hole through his 
head, was the body of Peter Rohbe. 

Solomon rode leisurely on until he reached the residence of Lyman 
Goodrich, on the SW of 35 in Crow township, where he met Frank 
Engles, who got another animal, and together they rode on toward Wa- 

When they reached the town Solomon inquired for a constable or 
sheriff. Some directed him to H. P. Jones, the sheriff's deputy, and 
others mentioned Geo. N. Price, the county constable. In a few minutes 
Price appeared and Solomon surrendered himself for trial for justifiable 
homicide. Of course great excitement grew in the community and spread 
over the county. H. P. Jones, the deputy sheriff, and a number of others, 
went to the ranch and looked at the corpse. When Jones returned to town 
he saw Solomon on the street in front of the hotel. "You have killed 


him." Jones remarked. "It is what I intended to do." remarked Ben, 
without any trace of emotion. That evening O. E. Gaffin, one of the 
countv justices, acting as coroner, visited the shanty on the ranch and 
held an inquest. The verdict accused Solomon of the crime of murder 
and he was taken to Wessington Sprmgs and lodged in the county jail. 

The county officials who had to do with the trial were, Albert Gun- 
derson, district attorney; Chas. W. McDonald, clerk of courts, and J. M. 
Spears, sheriff. As Mr. Gunderson, though he had been appointed dis- 
trict attorney by the county commissioners, had not then been admitted 
to the bar. the commissioners employed Attorneys Dillon & Preston, of 
Mitchell, to conduct the prosecution. The attorneys for the defense were 
the firm of Goodykoontz, Kellam & Porter, of Chamlerlain, and T. H. 
Null, then of Waterbury. 

The preliminary examination was held before C. E. Hackett, County 
Justice of the Peace at Wessington Springs. 

The legal battle was long and hard. At the term of court called for 
the 17th of March, 1886, the grand jury was discharged because of a 
technical error in the selection of names from which it was drawn. The 
presiding judge was Bartlett Tripp of Yankton, one of the ablest jurists 
in the territory. Court convened again in July and the case came up for 
trial. Solomon had been granted the right to give bail in the sum of 
$10,000. but being unable to get the sureties had remained in custody. 

The jury, composed mostly of young men, was finally impaneled and 
the trial began. It was in the defense of this case that Tom Null first 
gave evidence of that splendid ability that has since made him one of the 
foremost lawyers of the state. The jury reported a disagreement, seven 
being for conviction and five for acquittal. Ben was remanded to jail. 
The defense then set about securing a change of venue. One of the local 
papers, the True Republican, then edited by J. E. McNamara, published 
a full account of the trial and the material part of the evidence. This was 
done at the instance of the defense. Then affidavits on both sides were 
taken from a large number of people. D. H. Solomon, a prominent 
lawyer of Glenwood, Iowa, father of the prisoner, came to Jerauld county 
immediately after the killing of Rohbe and directed the long and skillful 
defense. A change in the place of trial was granted and the case sent to 
Sanborn county. The trial was held in July, 1887. and Solomon was con- 
victed of manslaughter and sentenced to the penitentiary for two years. 

The story of the crime, if crime it was, has, of course never been told 
by any one but Ben Solomon. In the course of the legal proceedings he 
told it seven times, and was three times subjected to a severe cross- 
examination, yet in no particular was any change made in his account of 


Ihe tragedy from that which he gave to the coroner on the evening of 
the 1 8th of November, 1885. 

This is the story as he told it to the coroner : 

"My name is Benjamin Logan Solomon. I am 27 years old. I re- 
side on the NW quarter of section two 106 — 67 and have resided there 
since the 7th day of April, 1883. I am acquainted with Peter J. Rohbe. 
1 first met him about two years ago while he was working for Jacob 
Xorin. I have been intimately acquainted with him since he hired to Air. 
Harris, which was about last May or June. Since that time J\Ir. Rohbe 
and myself have been hired on the farm of Harris & Combs. The last 
time I saw P. J. Rohbe was on the morning of the i8th of November, 
1885. It was in Harris & Comb's house, after daylight. I can not tell 
the time exactly, for we had no time piece. When I last saw him he was 
lying on the floor. 

'T arose in the morning as usual, built a fire in the stove and went 
out and gave the mules some millet, ^^'hen I left the house Rohbe was 
in bed. I was gone, I suppose, from 20 minutes to half an hour. When 
I came in Rchbe was cooking breakfast. Air. Comb's pup followed me 
out of the house and went to the stable and followed me back. I entered 
the house, threw ofl:' my coat and hat to prepare for breakfast. I threw 
my coat and hat on my bed which was in the northwest corner of the 
room. Rohbe immediately began calling to the dog to get out and 
kicking him around the stove. I told him if he wanted the dog out to 
open the door and let him out. He then picked up the dog by the back 
of the neck and began beating him with a piece of 2x4. When he drop- 
ped the dog it w'as bleeding at the mouth and nose. I said, 'Combs will 

not like this.' He replied, T do not give a what Combs likes.' As 

the dog lay upon the floor I thought he was dead. The animal was a 
full-blooded, red colored water spaniel. I remarked, 'You have killed 

him.' He shouted, T will kill you, too, you ■ — .' He raised the 

piece of 2x4 and came at me. I ran in on him and wrenched the stick 
away, and we clinched. I shoved him back upon the table wliere he had 
been cutting meat for breakfast. About the time his hip struck the table 
he let go of me . His hand dropped to the table and he picked up the 
butcher knife, and began hitting me on the head with it. I broke away 
and backed into the southwest corner of the room : he followed me with 
the knife, madder and madder all the time. He was muttering something 
in a language I could not understand. I saw he was intending to kill me 
and I picked up the rifle that stood in that corner of the room. I tried 
to bring the gun to bear on him but he was to close. He struck me with 
the knife and cut off my ear. When I got the gun around it went oft". 
He paid no attention to it. I jerked the shell out as quick as I could. 


then dropped the gun and backed into the northwest corner of the room 
and he after me with the knife upHfted. Under the pillow of my bed 
was a revolver that Mr. Combs generally carried, but this time he had 
left it. I picked up the revolver. There was an isle between the two 
beds. When I reached for the revolver Rohbe jumped on to his bed, 
turned around and struck at me. I fired, but to all appearances he was 
not hit. He paid no attention to the shot but kept coming towards me. 
I fired again and backed on the west side of the stove and kept on firing. 
I backed around to the east side of the south door which was closed. I 
had no time to open the door. If I could have done so I would have got 
out of there quick. I was in a box fighting for my life with a maniac. 
I fired the last shot while I was in the corner by the door. He was so 
close to me that the flash of the shot burned his face. The bullet hit Him 
near the eye and he fell. I dropped the revolver, went and picked up 
my coat and hat and going to the stable I took a mule and went to Wa- 
terbury and gave myself up to Air. Price, the constable."' 

The body of Rohbe was buried on the school section, 16, in Crow 
township. An unsuccessful attempt was once made to "snatch" it, and 
it is supposed to rest where it was buried. 

The building in which the fight occurred was purchased by Mr. 
Hanebuth and moved to his farm on the SW of i — 106 — 67. 

The stove, around which this battle occurred, was moved to Black 
Hawk, Iowa, where it is used to warm a hen house. 

What became of "Doc," the water spaniel is not known, but he re- 
covered from his beating and it is thought that Combs took him away. 

Combs moved to Iowa, and from there to Arkansas. What became 
of Harris is^ not known. 

Solomon served his term and then left the state. It is reported that 
he had many troubles afterward and was finally killed. 

Chapter 17. 

In the 1st commissioner district the republicans had nominated Mr. 
O. A. Knudtson of Franklin township, to succeed Mr. Fisher as count}' 
commissioner. The democrats had nominated Mr. Richard Dalton, of 
Blaine township. Air. Knudtson was elected. 

As an auxiliary to the G. A. R. Post at Wessington Springs, a W. R- 
C. was organized June 20, 1885. 


W. H. L. Wallace G. A. R. Post was organized at Alpena on Feb. 
14th, 1885, with the following charter members 

Wm. H. Arne, 9th N. Y. H. Artillery. 

I. Pearce, 4th 111. Cavalry. 

F. D. Hubbard, iiith N. Y. Infantry. 

R. Davenport, 4th Iowa Cavalry. 

C. M. Yakee, ist Colorado Cavalry. 

M. D. Blank, 2nd Iowa Cavalry. 

O. W. Richardson, 12th Illinois Cavalry. 

B. Gondit, Gunboat service. 

E. J. Cole, 2 1st N. Y. Cavalry. 

H. C. Newmeyer, 153rd Penn. Infantry. 
J. Hines, 117th Ohio Infantry. 
P. Grey, 34th Illinois Infantry. 

C. C. Hubbard, iiith N. Y. Infantry. 

F. C. Phillips, Mich. B. L. Artillery. 

In after years the following members were added to the post: 

Lewis Fenstemaker, 34th Illinois Infantry. 

Ruben Eastman, 34th Illinois Infantry. 

Cyrus E. Tinnery, 124th Illinois Infantry. 

Childs P. Canon, 2nd Nebr. Cavalry. 

Solon Palmer, Gunboat. 

H. M. Arne, 9th N. Y. H. Artillery. 

B. F. Remore, 8ist N. Y. Infantry. 

Charles Davis, 50th Wis. Infantry. 

John Teasdale, 37th Wis. Infantry. 

Wm. H. McDowell, 17th Penn. Mounted Infantry. 

W. T. Hay, — Wis. Infantry. 

R. Butler, 6th Iowa Cavalry. 

Wm. Orr, 44th Illinois Infantry. 

S. C. Weatherwax, 20th Iowa Infantry. 

J. Rankin, 84th Illinois Infantry. 

M. G. Shull, i6th Wis. Infantry. 

Theodore Le Master, 3rd W. Va. Cavalry. 

Chas. Fetterly, 4th Mich. Cavalry. 

Wm. J. Grace, 38th Wis. Infantry. 

May 20th the County Commissioners appointed F. A. Wheelihan 
Justice of the Peace in place of Wesley L. Davis, resigned. 

Tune loth, 1885, L. N. Loomis moved his family to Wessington 

In August, 1885, A. Converse purchased a farm in Anina township 


and for many years thereafter was one of the most prominent citizens of 
the county. 

Until the summer of 1885 the only water used on the townsite of 
W'essington Springs was from the big spring. Then L. H. Tarble 
had a well bored on the R. M. ]\Iagee property (now owned by James 
Barr). The water from this well was so excellent that other wells 
were put down. 

August 8th, 1885, all the G. A. R. posts of the county observed Grant 
Memorial Day. 

Union Cemetery is on the west side of the south-west quarter of sec- 
tion 18 in Viola township. It was purchased and platted at the expense 
of the people of Viola and Anina townships. Several of the residents of 
these two townships met at the Ford school house in Violaj Feb. 5th. 
1885. J. N. Smith was made chairman of the meeting and Jonas A. 
Tyner, secretary. The purpose was the organization of a cemetery asso- 
ciation. A board of trustees was elected composed of J. N. Smith and 
J. A. Tyner of Viola, and S. S. Aloore and Asa Hodgson of Anina. 
The land was obtained and in December of that year they employed T. 
L. Blank, of Wessington Springs, to survey and plat it. The plat con- 
sists of four blocks, each of which is divided into thirty-six lots, which 
are numbered like the sections in congressional townships. At a meeting 
of the board of trustees in December, 1885, twelve lots were set aside, at 
the suggestion of ~SIr. Tyner, for a "potters field." In twenty-four years 
no one has found a burial place in any of those twelve lots. Articles of 
incorporation were adopted January 4th, 1886. The first person interred 
in Union cemetery was Mrs. N. G. Rhodes, a sister of J. A. Ford, of 
Viola township. 

Charity cemetery is located on the NE quarter of section 26, in \'iola 
township. This was platted in 188^ — -. Mrs. J. G. Kieser was the first 
person buried in that church yard. The next seven interments were of 
babies. When twenty-seven graves had been made in this plat only three 
were adults, and of the children hurried here only one was over nine 
years old, and twenty-three were less than three years. 

The school bonds voted in the various townships in 1884 — 85 were 
a:s follows : 

Alpena, $4,000; Dale, $2,500; Logan, $1,500; Anina, $2,000; Viola, 
$2,500; Franklin, $1,600; Chery, $3,000; Marlar, $1,500; Wessington 
Springs, $2,000; Harmony, $1,200; Crow, $1,500; and Pleasant, $1,570. 

The practice act, or Code of Civil Procedure, of Dakota Territory 
abolished all "fictions'' of the law. Yet the first term of the District 
Court in Jerauld Co., was by virtue of an order of chief justice Bartlett 
Tripp, in which he created a fiction and used it. The order was made 


Feb. 19, 1886, calling an "additional" term of the court to convene on 
the 1 6th day of March. 

This order required the drawing of twenty grand jurors and twenty- 
four petit jurors, to be drawn by the clerk and sheriff fom a list to be 
provided by the county commissioners. This term of court was ordered 
mainly for the purpose of trying B. L. Solomon, then lying in jail on a 
charge of murder. 

The grand jurors drawn were as follows: H. Blowers, J. H. Farn- 
ham, B. F. Gough, E. C. La Rue, O. Johanson, Jas. J. Grace. Otis 
Walker, E. T. Harmen, Andrew Jacobsen, J. Zimmerman, A. Bywater, 
J. W. Wray, W. Steiner, R. Vanterveen, W. A. Rex, Henry Kneiriem, 
J. B. Jacobs, Calvin Hane, and M. Powell. 

The following is a list of the petit jurors: O. E. Williams, W. S. 
Scofield, R. Hible, Joseph Steichen, Joseph Ponsford, Fred Hagenbrook, 
T. L. White, Geo. King, H. W. Louder, A. S. Beels, J. Wheeler. Geo. 
Titus, A. L Churchill, R. J. Hughes, Frank Augustin, W. J. Houmes, 
Thomas Henning, J. B. Neal, C. C. Wright, D. M. Black, AL H. ^lartin, 
K. S. Starkey, D. Kint, and F. W. Whitney. 

Both the grand and petit juries were drawn on the 24th of February. 

Of the grand jurors drawn all appeared but J. H. P'arnham and J. 
B. Jacobs. The court granted the request of J. W. Wray to be excused, 
and the prosecution in the Solomon case challenged H. Blowers. A 
special venire was then issued and Wm. Hawthorne, H. J. Wallace, J. 
N. Dynes and A. S. Beals were summoned by the sheriff to fill the grand 
jury. The defense in the Solomon case then challenged the grand jury 
panel, because of error in selecting the list of names from which the jury 
was drawn, by the clerk and sheriff. The challenge was sustained and 
the grand jury discharged. 

The petit jury was retained and then court proceeded with the trial 
of some civil cases. 

Before the trial of cases began Mr. J. F. Ford was admitted to prac- 
tice as an attorney, on a certificate issued by the district court in Calhoun 
county, Iowa. 

The first alien admitted to citizenship by a court of record was Peter 
Nening, in District Court March 17, 1886. His witnesses were Joseph 
Steichen and W. J. Williams. 

The first verdict rendered in district court in Jerauld county was for 
the defendant in the case of Peter Wieland vs. O. E. Gaffin. Dunham 
and Drake attorneys for plaintiff, and T. H. Null for defendant. The 
jury that tried this first case was composed of the following men : A. 
L Churchill, W. S. Scofield, C. C. Wright, Jos. Ponsford, Thos. Henning, 


H. ^^^ Louder, M. H. I^Iartin, D. Kint, A. S. Beals, F. W. Whitney, R. 
Hible and Geo. King. 

Another term of court was called for June 29th. On the 2nd day of 
the term the grand jury returned an indictment against B. L. Solomon 
to which he pleaded "not guilty" on the ist of July. The grand jury 
that returned this indictment, the first in the county, was composed of the 
following jurymen: Theodore Dean, foreman, Geo. W. Bolton, James 
H. "\^'aldron, Geo. Knieriem, Wm. Hill, J. W. Shultz, Peter Klink, Louis 
Jonker, Julius Hart, A. Gilbertson, G. S. Brady, G. S. Eddy, H. C. 
Stephens, H. B. Faust, J. C. Barr, A. B. Easter, J. R. Eddy and E. J. 

The trial of the Solomon case began on the 7th day of July, before 
a jury which consisted of: Patrick Conlon, J. C. Johnston, S. W. Foster, 
M. Flint, E. E. Nesmith, J. R. Nelson, W. Murphy, J. H. Daniels, W. 
L. Holden, Richard Price, J. A. Holcomb and E. A. Heaton. 

The jury disagreed on the loth of July and were discharged. The 
case was then taken to Sanborn county, where the prisoner was convicted 
and sent to prison for two years. 

Following the example of previous years no detailed statement of 
county finances, was shown by settlement with the treasurer. 

On January 5th, 1886, the following record appears in the minutes 
of the board. "The balance of the afternoon was spent in settling with 
the county treasurer." 

On January 12th, 1886, Mr. Fisher retired from the board and Mr. 
Knudtson took his place. The new board organized by electing J. E. 
Sullivan chairman. 

The strife over the position of official county paper was spirited at 
the meeting of the county commissioners in March, 1886. The following- 
offers from the different publishers tell how anxious they were in those 
days to get the prestige of official patronage. 

"The Jerauld County News will publish the county work at one-half 
legal rates, should you designate it the official paper of the county. 

Very Respectfully, 

News Publishing Co." 

"Communication of Co. clerks of 14th inst. rec'd. I will make formal 
bid of $26.00 to print Co. Com's proceedings for year 1886. 

Yours truly, 

M. B. McNeil, 
Waterburv, D. T. 


"Sirs : — I hereby agree to publish the proceedings of your Hon. body 
free of charge for one year, in consideration of the Wessington Springs 
Herald being named as the official paper of Jerauld county. 

Yours respectfully, 

T. L. Blank, 
Pub. Herald." 

"The Jerauld County Journal, of Alpena, will pay the county $2.00 
to be furnished with the minutes of the commissioners meetings during 
the current year, also publish the delinquent tax list at five cents per 
description, publish all legal notices of the board free of charge and 
furnish stationary at 20 per cent below regular price. 

L. H. AlcCarger." 

"Received of L. H. McCarger two dollars for having the privilege 
of county board. The above to the credit of county fund. 

W. J. Willams, County Treasurer, 
Jerauld Co., D. T." 

On March 5th, 1886, the county board accepted the steel cell which 
had been placed in the old county building ready for use, allowing $975 
therefor. On April 8th they settled for the court house and jail, exclusive 
of cell at $2,410.91. Making a total with the cell of $3,385.91. 

Franklin township filed a petition on July 5th, 1886, asking for civil 
township organization. The petition was laid over to the next meeting. 
On Oct. 5th the petition was denied. 

July 6th the board passed an order instructing the road overseers on 
the west side of the county to work the west county line from the north- 
west corner of section 6 — 108 — (ij south 15 miles to the northwest corner 
of the NW of 19 — 107 — 67, Buffalo county having agreed to work the 
balance south of that point. 

In calling the election for 1886 the board renumbered the precincts, 
putting each township by itself according to its congressional boundaries ; 
Alpena being No. i, Franklin No. 6 and Blaine No. 11, numbering west 
across the county. 

At the September session, 1886, the board established a road on sec- 
tions 14 and 23 in Marlar township. At the October session a road was 
established at the foot of the hills in Media and Chery townships. 

The county tax levy in 1886 was the same in amount as the two 
previous years, but instead of levying 2 mills road tax and 2 mills bridge 
tax, the board dropped those items and levied a 4 mills tax for a sinking 


Nothing further of special interest occurred in the proceedings of the 
board of commissioners during the year 1886. 

PoHtics, as usual, was a matter of interest to all. The eighth council 
and representative district, composed of Beadle, Sanborn and Jerauld 
counties was entitled to two representatives and one membei of the ter- 
ritorial council. Beadle county being designated by the appoitionment 
act as the senior county, claimed the position of councilman, and nom- 
inated John Cain as the republican candidate. Sanborn county repub- 
licans brought forward Wilson Wise as their candidate while in this 
county D. F. Royer^ of Alpena, was the republican nominee. Against 
these candidates the democrats nominated J. W. Harden, of Jerauld 
county for the council, and C. C. Frost, of Beadle county, and A. K. 
Colton of Sanborn county, for representatives. 

In county politics the bitterness engendered in 1884 seemed to have 
intensified with the approach of another election. Three tickets were put 
in the field for most of the offices. For register of deeds the democrats 
and independents united and nominated H. C. Stephens, of W^essington 
Springs, against L. N. Loomis, who was a candidate for re-election. 

The various candidates were as follows : 

Register of Deeds — Republicans, L. N. Loomis; Dem. and Indepen- 
dent, H. C. Stephens. 

Dist. Attorney— Republican, C. V. Alartin ; Democrat, Thomas Drake ; 
and Ind., T. H. Null. 

Treasurer — Rep., W. J. Williams, Dem., U. E. Babb ; and Ind., C. 
L. Austin. 

Sherifif — J. A. Tyner; Dem., Isaac Pearce ; and Ind., J. M. Spears. 

Probate Judge' — Rep., H. M. Rice; Dem., John Chapman; and Ind.. 
A. Converse. 

Assessor — Rep., J. A. Riegal ; Dem., Geo. Deindorfer; and Ind., J. 
O. Gray. 

Coroner — Rep., E. L. Turner; Ind., M. W. Nesmith. 

Surveyor — Rep., H. J. Wallace; and Dem.. B. R. Shimp. 

Supt. of Schools — Rep., I. S. Binford ; and Dem. J. J. Stiner. 

The result at the polls was an indication of what happened two years 
later. The republican convention was conducted after the manner of 
politics in those days and a good deal of "trading" and "bartering*' was 
done. Whether justly or not, the work of the convention was charged, 
to D. F. Royer, candidate for the legislature. No one could say that the 
ticket nominated was not made up of good men, but the dissatisfied ones 
worked harder against Royer than against any other man on the ticket 
with the result that although he was elected in the district he was de- 
feated in his home county by a vote of 475 for Frost to 377 for Royer. 


The county ticket was somewhat mixed at the election. The following 
officers were elected: 

Register of Deeds^ — L. N. Loomis. 

District Attorney — T. H. Null. 

Treasurer — W. J. Williams. 

Sheriff — J. M. Spears. ■ • 

Probate Judge- — H. M. Rice. 

Assessor' — J. O. Gray. 

Coroner — E. L. Turner. 

Surveyor — H. J. A\"allace. 

Supt. of Schools — L S. Binford. 

Co. Commissioners — 3rd Dist., Jefferson Sickler. 

Justices of the Peace^ — C. E. Hackett, J. R. Francis, J. T. McGlashan 
and O. O. Lindebak. 

Constables — W. W. Huxtable. J. O. Shryock, Robt. Flagg and John 

Chapter 18. 

The first month of the year 1886 was one of intense cold. The aver- 
age temperature was seven degrees below zero. The first frost of the 
preceding autumn had come on the morning of the first of September and 
been followed by cold weather during November, though December had 
been mild. February, 1886, was also a month of zero weather, but on 
the loth of March it turned warm and spring weather came on rapidly. 

Seeding was done early and the rains were frequent and copious. 
Crop prospects were never better than during the months of INIay and 
June. Ducks were nesting in the numerous lakes and ponds scattered 
over the county. 

On the morning of the 4th of July the wind changed to a little west 
of south and by noon was blowing a gale. Through the afternoon and 
all night the wind continued, gradually becoming warmer. On the morn- 
ing of the 5th the air was filled with particles of dust that gave it a 
brownish appearance, and by noon the wind was coming in gusts of air 
hot as the blasts from a furnace. People who went out of doors protected 
their faces from the heat and often turned from the wind to recover 
their breath. The air was heated to suffocation. Women and children 
found refuge from the hot air in basements and storm cellars. No one 
had even experienced anything like it before. 


By the night of the 2nd day of the storm all vegetation had turned 
yellow and was becoming crisp and brittle as though dried and baked in 
a hot oven. The storm of hot winds lasted three days. When it was 
over the crops were dead, and almost white. None would yield enough 
of grain to pay the cost of harvest. The simoon had been as destructive 
as the locusts that a few years before had devastated western Iowa and 
Alinnesota and eastern Kansas and Nebraska. The prarie grass had 
while standing been turned into uncut hay. The water in the lakes and 
ponds had disappeared leaving the beds dry and dusty. 

Those three days of hot winds were a veritable calamity to the set- 
tlers. The crops upon which they had depended were utterly destroyed. 
It became necessary to borrow money to tide them over until another 
harvest. The money could be obtained only at the small private banks,, 
of which there were one or two in every village. When they applied for 
loans the people were astounded to find that they must give a chattel 
mortgage upon property many tinies the value of the loan, and must 
pay interest at the rate of from three tO' six per cent a month. In addi- 
tion to that the money lender had a right to take the property at any 
time he "deemed himself insecure." From the effects of the storm of hot 
air the settlers would have recovered could they have borrowed money 
at a reasonable rate of interest, but from the effect of the loans, at the 
interest rate they had to pay, recovery was impossible. Some men there 
were who did a legitimate banking business, but their capital was limited. 
The unscrupulous men who charged the exorbitant rates of interest did 
more to impoverish and dishearten the early settlers than all the climatic 
conditions combined. These were the men who intensified the hard times 
that for years hung like the black pall of dispair over the prairies of 

In the summer of 1886 a cemetery association was organized at Alpena 
and a burial place selected and purchased southeast of the village. This 
plat is now owned and cared for by the I. O. O. F. of Alpena. 

A mail route between Wessington Springs and Alpena was established 
in the summer of 1886 with W. S. Corothers as carrier. 

A change of postmasters occurred in Alpena in 1886, Mr. W. L. 
Arnold taking the post office in place of D. F. Royer. 

Rev. Geo. F. Bilber was appointed by the conference to the Alpena 
M. E. Church. Oct. i8th, 1886, but failed to fill the appoinment. The 
church was supplied by Rev. J. G. Campbell until the appointment of W. 
S. Underwood Oct. 19th the following year, who remained until 1889. 

The ministers who have succeeded Mr. Underwood to the present time 
liave been : 


N. P. Steves— Oct. 19, 1887 to Oct. 11, 1888, (served with Mr. Un- 
derwood, supplying- the country appointments). 

Thos. Carson' — Oct. 1889 to Oct. 1890. 

T. H. Hendricks — Oct. 1890 to Oct. 1893. 

J. D. AlHson — Oct. 1893 to Oct. 1895. 

H. S. Coon — Oct. 14, 1895 to Oct. 1898. 

R. H. Stokes — Oct. 15, 1898 to Oct. 1900. 

W. B. Stewart — Oct. 17, 1900 to Oct. 18, 1902. 

Jas. T. Gurney — Oct. 5, 1902 to Oct. 18, 1903. 

Pierce O. Bunt — Oct. 18, 1903 to Oct. 21, 1907. 

John Kaye — Oct. 21, 1907. 

Rev. Wm. Paganhart, who had been preaching for the church at 
Waterbury during the year ending October 23rd, 1886, was transferred 
by the conference to the church at Wessington Springs for the year 
ending Oct. 19, 1887. The ministers of the AI. E. Church at Wessington 
Springs since Mr. Paganhart, have been : 

Charles A'essey, Oct. 1887 to Oct. 1890; Joseph Elgon Norvell, Oct. 

1890 to ; J. Wesley Stokesbury, Oct. 1895 to April 1896; J. N. 

Smith, April 1896 to Oct. 1896; James Clullow, Oct. 1896 to Oct. 1897; 
S. H. Chappell, Oct. 1897 to Oct. 1899 ; G. D. Brown, Oct. 1899 to Oct. 
1904; J. E. Crowther, Oct. 1904 to Oct. 1906; and J. M. Tibbets, Oct. 
1906 to present time. 

The second pool and billiard hall in Alpena was run by Thos. Bald- 
win, in a building erected by him in 1886, until the summer of 1887. yir. 
Baldwin then went to ]\Iinneapolis, where he still lives. In 1890 Geo. 
H. Arne went into mercantile business in this building and remained here 
until he moved out in 1894 taking his stock with him. In 1894 J. R. 
Milliken bought a stock of goods of J. H. Vessey at Wessington Springs 
and moved it to the room vacated by Arne. About a year later Milliken 
sold his stock to H. A. Miller, of Chery township, who moved it back 
to Wessington Springs. The next occupant of this building was C. C. 
isenbuth, of Huron, in 1896. He sold to Franzwa in 1902, Franzwa en- 
larged the store room, raised the roof, making the building a story and a 
half high, and placed in front of it the first cement walk laid in the town. 
A year later Franzwa sold his stock to A. N. Louder, who conducted the 
business until 1905, when he sold to Messrs. Miles & Hunter. Mr. 
Franzwa repurchased the stock and building in 1906, and built an addi- 
tion onto the east side of the store room. The building is now occupied 
by Mr. Schamber, son of a former state treasurer. 

On November ist, 1886, Mrs. Barber and Miss Litchfield sold the 
hotel in Alpena to Ray Barber, who remained as proprietor until J\Iay 
29, 1894. Mrs. Barber and Miss Litchfield then took charge of it again 


and retained control until Sept. ist, 1901. It was then sold to Chas. Alil- 
ler, who run it about a year and sold to J. T. Fleming. A year later jNIr. 
Aliller again took the hotel, but in ]\Iarch, 1903, sold it to Mrs. A. B. 
Smith. February ist, 1905, Airs. Smith sold the property to W. W. 
Hillis. In the spring of 1908 Flillis sold it to ]\lrs. Niested of Huron. 

In the spring of 1886, Wm. \'oss sold his interest in the lumber yard 
at Alpena to Chas. R. and D. S. Manwarning. They conducted the busi- 
ness during the next ten years and on Aug. 21st, 1898, sold the property 
to J. D. Chamberlain. In 1901, F. D. Anderson, the present owner, pur- 
chased it from Air. Chamberlain. 

The first bank in Alpena was a private concern managed by D. F. 
Royer, who did the business at a counter behind the usual screen in the 
back end of the front room of his drug store. This was in 1886. 

In the fall of this year W. L. Arnold gave up mercantile business in 
Alpena and sold his stock to J. R. Alilliken. retaining the position of 
postmaster. It was at the northwest corner of INIain and 2nd Streets. 
Milliken kept the store until the next year and then sold the stock to 
Roth Bros., of \\'essington Springs. They continued the business until 
1888 in that room and then went into the new I. O. O. F. building across 
the street. The Arnold lot and building was purchased by the Pres- 
byterian church organization in 1892 and used by them for a meeting- 
house for nine years. In 1904 J. R. Milliken and J. D. Chamberlain 
kept a general store in this building, but in the spring of 1885 sold a 
part of their stock of goods to J. H. Creighton of Wessington Springs, 
and the balance to Airs. L. W. Castleman, who continues the business at 
the present time. 

The Jerauld County Agricultural Society had a meeting on the 2nd 
day of January, 1886, at which they reelected Air. B. G. Cummings. pre- 
sident, and R. Vandervene, vice-president, H. J. Wallace, secretary, and 
W. J. Williams, treasurer. 

On January 20th a brass band was organized in Wessington Springs. 
A. E. Turrill, leader. The other members of the band were Al Sturgis, 
drum major, Jake Rosenthall, Augustin La Point, G. R. Bateman, A\'. 
I. Bateman, Ed Campbell, Bert Campbell, Omar Schryock, Chas. Schry- 
ock, Tommy Schryock, Geo. Wicks, Ed Andrew and Will B. AlcDonald. 

Several changes were made in the management of the newspapers of 
the county during 1886. D. F. Royer became the owner of the Jerauld 
Co. Journal, AlcDonald and Bateman sold the \\'essington Springs Herald 
to T. L. Blank on the 5th of February. 

O. P. FIull became owner of the Waterbury Alessenger, successor to 
the Waterbury News. N. J. Dunham became editor of the Jerauld 
County Journal April ist. 


Hoz^'ani Pope. Mr. and Mrs. Ezra J^oorhics. Mrs. Geo. R. Bafeiiia 


Isaac P. Byam. j^ q_ pberhart and G. N. Price. A'- E. JViUiai 



Rolla Gady. Alpena Farmer's Elevator 1889. Ghas Gingery. 


B. B. Blosser, who had been a compositor on the Woonsocket Times 
for several years, bought the True RepubHcan Dec. lo, 1886, and for 
several years made it the leading paper of the county. 

At Waterbury the general store of C. L. Austin closed on Dec. 15, 
1886. About the same time T. H. Null moved his law office to Wessing- 
ton Springs from Waterbury. During the same month Delos Klink and 
F. G. Vessey bought the implement business from Vessey Bros., Ran- 
som & Co. 

On June loth, 1886, L. N. Loomis rented to Jake Rosenthal lot 22 
in block 4, Alpena, at $5.00 per month for use as a meat market, lease 
to take effect June 15th. This was the first market of the kind in the 

Since Rosenthal the meat market business in Alpena has been con- 
trolled in succession by Ed. Hinchliff, J. J. Hillis, Geo. jMarsten & J. 
Venables, John Woods (who put up the building since used as a market), 
Andrew Mercer and his son Robert, W. H. McMillan & John Chamber- 
lain, W. H. McMillan, L. W. Castleman, L. W^ Castleman & C. C. Rohr, 
C. C. Rohr, and F. Mann, wdio took possession March 25, 1908. 

In 1886 a masonic lodge Avas organized at Wessington Springs. The 
number of the lodge was 87 and the name "Frontier." The charter was 
granted June loth. The charter members were : 

Chas. W. McDonald, W. M. 
Cleveland T. Hall, S. W. 
W. J. Williams, J. W. 
J. E. Sullivan, Treasurer. 
E. G. Williams, Secretary. 
I. H. French, S. D. 
J. T. Ferguson, J. D. 
A. S. Beals, Tyler, 
M. A. Shaw. 
E. V. Miles. 

The first new member of the masonic lodge at Wessington Springs 
was O. E. Williams. The present membership numbers 42. 


Chapter 19. 

Jefferson Sickler took the oath of office as a county commissioners on 
the 4th day of January, 1887. Following the precedent set by preceding 
commissioners the outgoing board settled with the county treasurer, be- 
fore Mr. Sickler was sworn in. Ever since then the settlement has been 
made by the new board. 

The new board was organized by the election of Mr. L. G. Wilson 
as chairman. 

Mr. Johnston, the outgoing superintendent, had received $1514.75 as 
fees and salary during the two years of his term, certainly not a large 
compensation, but the new board on the 5th of January reduced the 
salary of that office to $100 yer year. 

The True Republican was made the official paper of the county on 
condition that the paper should publish the minutes of the board and all 
notices of board meetings free of charge. The legislature then in session 
passed a law requiring the appointment of three official papers, and on 
the 5th of April the Jerauld County Journal at Alpena and The Jerauld 
County Messenger, at Waterbury, were also made official papers, with- 
out the aforesaid conditions. 

In January 1887 several townships moved for civil township organ- 
ization. The petition in all but one (Blaine), were granted and elections 
called for February ist in Franklin, Marlar, Alpena, Crow, Anina, Chery 
and Viola. The petition from Blaine township was denied because a 
remonstrance containing more names than were attached to the petition was 
filed before the board had acted on the petition. On the day that the 
petitions were granted the board ordered that all civil township names 
and boundaries should be the same as the school townships. 

The county clerk's salary was increased to $400 per year. 

About the first of April, 1887, the county treasurer desired to resign 
his office and asked the different members of the board to agree to ap- 
point C. E. Thayer in his place. The commissioners refused and Air. 
Williams did not resign. 

A petition was filed with the county board on the 4th day of April 
asking them to consent to a change in the place of trial in the Solomon 
case. After some hesitancy they granted the petition on assurance that 
the change would obviate the necessity of having a term of court in 
Jerauld county that year. 

April 5th the board declared mustard, Canada thistles and cockle burs 
to be noxious weeds. 

A petition signed by 471 voters was laid before the commissioners on 
July 7th asking that the question of "local option" be submited to the 


people at the next November election which was granted. A territorial 
law required that the matter of division of the territory be also sub- 

On July 9th, 1887, H. M. Rice resigned his office of Probate Judge 
and C. E. Kackett was appointed to the vacancy. i\Ir. Hackett resigned 
his position as a county Justice and on the 14th Richard Dalton, of Blaine 
township, was appointed to that place. 

The time had now come for the semi-annual settlement with the 
treasurer, but the treasurer did not appear. It soon became known that 
W. J. Williams had absconded. The commissioners took possession of 
the office. They found in the safe $189.74. The deputy treasurer, Mary 
Williams, sister of the treasurer, gave the board checks for the amount 
in the local bank, which was $415.00. The shortage was estimated at 
about $4,500. 

Wlien the excitement incident to this affair had abated a little the 
commissioners declared the office of treasurer vacant and each member 
of the board proposed a candidate. Mr. Knudtson nominated J. M. 
Wheeler, of Blaine township, Mr. Sickler proposed H. A. Peirce, of Har- 
mony township, while the chairman brought forward the name of H. J. 
Wallace, of Chery. This occurred on the 9th of July. At the next meet- 
ing, July 1 2th, the board elected Mr. Wallace county treasurer to suc- 
ceed Williams. 

On July 13th the board published a statement showing the financial 
condition of the county. l"he public debt above the amount due from 
impaid taxes, etc., was $10,153.27. 

On the 19th of July Mr. Wallace resigned his position as county sur- 
veyor and B. R. Shimp. was appointed to the vacancy. 

The tax levy was made as follows on the 5th of September : 
County school 2 mills. County bridge I mill, county road i mill, sink- 
ing fund 4 mills and county general 6 mills. 

The territorial tax in 1887 was three and six-tenths nulls and in 
Jerauld County one mill extra on cattle, horses and mules to pay for 
animals killed by the state veterinarian. 

A petition to increase the number of members of the board from 
three to five, signed by 137 voters was filed Sept. 6th, but was denied 
because of it not having a sufficient number of signers. 

The Agricultural society, at a meeting held January 4th. 1887, elected 
L. N. Loomis president and H. A. Miller secretary. At this time the 
society was about $90 in debt. To raise money with which to pay ofl:' 
its obligations the plan was proposed and adopted to have a public ball 
at the court house on Feb. 22nd. The move met with popular favor and 
$41 was secured for that purpose. On July 23rd the fair dates were 


fixed at Sept. 21, 22 and 23. The result was a successful exhibit, the 
society closing the year out of debt, and about ten dollars in the treasury. 

Several changes were made in the newspaper work of the county in 
1887. The first was the purchase of the Waterbury Home-News from 
I\I. B. McNeil, in January by O. P. Hull, who changed the name of the 
paper to "Jerauld County ]\Iessenger.'" In October Mr. Hull bought the 
Buffalo County Sentinel, and about the middle of December he bought 
AV. R. Pooley's Crow Lake Homesteader. Both papers were consolidated 
with the iNIessenger. April ist, N. J. Dunham rented the Jerauld County 
Journal for one year. 

The real estate firm of Hudson & Heart at Waterbury dissolved part- 
nership in ]\Iarch, 1887, Mr. Hudson retiring from the business. 

Among the churches, of course, some changes were made in the pas- 
torates. The M. E. Conference in October appointed Rev. Chas. Vessey 
to Wessington Springs, W. H. Underwood to Alpena, and D. P. Olin to 
Waterbury. At, the latter place C. \\ ^Martin had been employed by the 
people to preach for six months, commencing in March. 

The County S. S. Associaiton held its meeting at Wessington Springs, 
June 10. 

May 15th a Sunday School was organized at school house No. 3 in 
Pleasant township, with C. D. Coley, Supt. 

The Weslyan Methodists held their last quarterly meeting for that 
conference year in a large tabernacle erected at Lyndale, Sept. I7lh and 

In !Media township a union Sunday school was formed at the school 
house in district No. 2, Mr. A. S. Beals, Supt. 

Quarterly meeting services of the German M. E. Church were held 
at the Nesmith school house. May 29, 1887. 

A union Sabbath school was held at Dale Center also during the sum- 
mer of 1887. 

The people of Mola and Anina townships observed Arbor Day in 
1887, by planting trees and laying out walks in Cnion cemetery. 

I have been unable to obtain the roll of the G. A. R. Post at AVater- 
bury, but it is probable that at this time it contained the following mem- 
bers : 

A. E. White. PI. Merwin, W. A. Rex, E. S. Waterbury, Geo. N. 
Price, J. 'M. Corbin, H. i\I. Rice, H. Herring, H. A. Jones. D. F. Jones, 
Henrv Fogarty, James Long, A. S. Fordham. H. Herman, R. S. Russell, 
T. y. Hunt and Flavins Curtis. 

A creamery had been established in Woonsocket and the managers 
were anxious to secure the trade of Jerauld county. In ]\Iay of 1887 an 
arrangement was made with Mr. A. B. Smart to gather cream from the 


county north, west and south of the Springs, and deliver it to the creamery 
wagon, which would come to Wessington Springs for it. This was con- 
tinued through the summer and fall, the cream checks being cashed at 
the local stores. It was so successful that a move began Oct. 29th to 
establish an institution of that kind in Wessington Springs. 

In April, 1887, the Woodburn Hotel changed hands and Mr. A. B. 
Easter became proprietor. He continued in charge of it until about the 
25th of Sept., when Geo. N. Price, of Waterbury, purchased the property 
and on Oct. 3rd, 1887, moved in and became resident of the county seat. 
About two weeks later Mr. Price rented the livery barn in Wessington 
Springs owned by E. B. Orr. The Wessington Springs-Woonsocket 
stage line had been purchased by j\Ir. Price, Aug. 16th, and A. G. Eber- 
hart put on that line as driver. A new stage wagon with a canvas cover 
was provided and traveling over that line was made as comfortable as 
possible, — a long and tedious ride at the best. He was at this time owner 
of the Woonsocket line, the Crow Lake line, which became a daily line 
June 1st, the Miller line and Belford line. RoUa Cady drove the mail 
to Miller, Gehial Barnum to Crow Lake and Will Moss was on the Bel- 
ford line. This was undoubtedly the severest winter, especially for stage 
drivers in the history of the county, yet Price was as reliable with his 
mail lines as was the famous Ben Halliday with his pony express. 
Storms were frec^uent in November and December, blocking the trains 
and obstructing the mails on all railroads. 

On October ist the mail route between Alpena and Wessington 
Springs was discontinued. 

The first "special delivery" letter to arrive at the Wesington Springs 
P. O. came on Monday, Oct. 3, 1887. It was addressed to C. W. Mc- 
Donald, clerk of courts, and was delivered by Postmaster Barrett. 

At Alpena, on June 8, 1887, L. N. Loomis rented Lot 2, Block 7, to 
F. W. Whitney at $75 per year for use as a post office, lease to take 
efifect July ist, at which time Mr. Whitney succeeded W. L. Arnold as 

In the same year Geo. Brooks took Frank Wheelihan's place in the 
depot at Alpena. Since then the station agents at Alpena have been: 
M. Mellette, Renshaw, A. Amundson, C. G. Boom and Mr. Buechler. 

In the same year that Whitney took the Alpena post office J. A. Craw- 
ford, who with his blacksmith shop had been "holding down his claim," 
the SW of 3 in Dale township, for several months, moved his shop and 
his residence back to town again. 

In the summer of 1887, J. T. Johnston sold his Alpena grain ware- 
house to McMichael, who made an elevator of it in 1901. Soon after 
selling his warehouse Johnston became interested in baseball. He took 


charge of the team at Alpena and arranged for a game with the Wcon- 
socket nine at Wessington Springs, during the fair week in September. 
An immense crowd gathered to see the game and cheered itself hoarse 
Avhen the Alpena boys won the game. 

Some business changes were made in Wessington Springs. In the 
forepart of February Allan Ransom and J. H. A^ssey, the founders of 
the business, drew out of the company, Vessey Bros., Ransom & Co. 
Ransom left the county, but Vessey took charge of the Crow Lake store 
as manager on a salary. 

In the last week in April, ]Mr. Blosser moved the True Republican 
office into the Drake building, ^[r. Drake having moved to Faulkton. 

Mr. E. H. Ford put a chair in the front room of his building on the 
south side of Main street, and during two days each week run a barber 

Geo. Bickford, of Woonsocket, opened a meat market in Wessington 
Springs Aug. 8, 1887, but on the eighteenth of the same month sold out 
to Geo. R. Bateman and E. L. Hinchliff. 

It may not be generally known, yet it is a fact that Jerauld and Aurora 
counties in 1887 had a railroad company, all their own. Mr. Heintz of 
White Lake, was president, J. R. Milliken, of Alpena, was treasurer and 
T. H. Null, of Wessington Springs was secretary. The name of the 
road was "The Duluth, Huron and Pacific." The plan of the road was 
to connect with the Great Northern at Huron and cross the Missouri at 
Wheeler, in Charles J\Iix county. 

The building of the Great Northern into Huron started the C. M. 
& St. P. in the construction of a line south through Faulk, Hand, Jerauld 
and Aurora counties to connect with a line extending from Tripp in 
Hutchinson county to Armour in Douglas county. The contract for grad- 
ing the line through Pleasant and Harmony townships was let to the 
Murray Bros., and the settlers thought their days of waiting for railroad 
facilities were over. The Great Northern built their line to Huron and 
stopped. The C. M. & St. P. built their line to Orient, in Hand county, 
and stopped. For twenty-two years those railroad companies have been 
watching each other, and the settlers have been watching them. 

On July 26, 1887, a gun club was organized at Wessington Springs 
wath A. M. Mathias, president, and B. B. Blosser. secretary. The object 
was sport and enforcement of the game laws. Several contests were 
had with sportsmen from Alpena and Waterbury, but no one was prose- 
cuted for violating the law. 

The new superintendent of schools began early in his term to organize 
the teachers of the county for professional w^ork. In February, 1887, 
township institute work started in Pleasant township to which Media and 


Harmony were united for that purpose. They were continued once a 
month till the close of the school year. 

With the heginning' of the next school year the work was revived and 
much enthusiasm put into the meetings which were held on the 3rd Sa- 
turday of each month. At the Trollope school house an institute began 
on the 19th of November for the teachers of Logan, Crow, Pleasant and 
Crow Lake townships. The next Saturday, Nov. 26th, the teachers of 
Viola, Anina, Media, and Wessington Springs were brought together for 
institute work at the Nesmith school house in Viola. Dec. 3rd an insti- 
tute began at Dale Center school house for Alpena, Dale and Chery town- 
ships. At the northwest school house of Blaine township a similar meet- 
ing was arranged on Dec. 17th for Franklin and Blaine. 

On the 24th of October, a county teachers institute was opened at the 
court house in Wessington Springs with J. W. Harden as inctructor. 
Twenty-nine teachers were in attendance. The list follows : 

Mesdames Anna Tryon, C. A. Dunham, R. A. Gregory, Misses Mary 
Williams, Minnie Stanley, Nellie Jacobs, Ella Hewitt, Kate McLean, 
Addie Powell, May Hunt, Ella Allyn, Anna Peterson, Sarah Fish, Jennie 
Holcomb, Jeanette Richardson and Messrs. Fred Luke, J. A. Ford, T. 
L. White, B. R. Shimp, A. J. Miller, John R. Francis, "w. L. Holden, 
John F. Wicks, John Holmes, A. H. Elliott, Chas. Beach, Geo. O. Wil- 
liams, Fred Fisher, and N. E. Williams. 

On the evening of the first day of the institute a reception was given 
the teachers by the people of Wessington Springs. It was arranged by 
Mr. Binford and it was a very pleasant afifair. 

The year 1887 was a year of abundant harvest. Some authentic re- 
ports were made of yields that were astonishing. There is a strip of 
country along the east part of Alpena township that has never suiTered 
loss either from fire, or storm. In this favored region Chas. Bechtold 
raised a field of wheat that year that was threshed by Ferguson and Mon- 
roe, who produced their books to show that the yield was forty-three 
bushels per acre. 


Chapter 20. 

The local papers at Wessington Spring's on the 28th day of January, 
1887, published a short notice calling a meeting to be held at the M. E. 
Church on February 5th to consider the matter of securing the location 
of a Free Methodist seminary at Wessington Springs. The meeting was 
not largely attended. It had been called at the instance of Rev. A. B. 
Smart. Mr. John Chapman was elected chairman of the meeting and 
Albert Gunderson, secretary. A committee was appointed whose duty 
was to solicit aid toward securing the location of the school at the county 
seat of Jerauld county. The committee was composed of M. D. Crow, 
I. S. Binford, T. K. Ford, A. B. Smart, S. F. Huntley and J. O. Gray. 
But few of the men appointed to that committee were present at the 
meeting which named them, and !Mr. Smart was requested to notify them 
of their appointment. There is no record of any meeting of that com- 
mittee and in all probability none was ever held. But be that as it may, 
its working force was the man who called the meeting on Feb. 5th. In 
this opportunity Mr. Smart saw the fulfillment of a plan conceived, 
evolved and worked out to the minutest detail, during the years of his 
middle life. It was this scheme, that had beckoned him, with all the 
learning got at two colleges, from both of which he had graduated with 
honor, to bring his family away from the intellectual and social culture 
of New England, to "set his stake" in an uninhabited wilderness. For 
this he had braved everything, privations and hardships in common with 
the poorest and most ignorant settler, and disappointments. But few can 
imagine the eagerness throbbing in his brain when he asked the news- 
paper man to publish the call for the meeting. To him it meant the 
achievement of an ambition, to this people it meant the acquisition of 
possibilities that might never be offered them again. Of all those present 
he alone was the man who could do. Yet he was neither made presiding 
officer of the meeting nor chairman of the committee. Another date was 
set, Feb. 12th, at which the committee should report. Because of a storm 
the meeting to be held at that time was postponed until the 19th. 

On the 19th of February the location committee of the church met at 
Mitchell to discuss the site for the school. Mr. Smart was there. i\Ien 
from several cities and towns were there urging the advantages they 
could ofifer to the committee. ^Nlany places could ofifer more of population 
and greater wealth, but Jerauld county had an asset that was worth more 
in the mind of the committee than all else and that was its strong moral 
and temperance sentiment. Alone Mr. Smart made the fight and won. 
He got from the church committee a conditional location of the institu- 
tion at Wessington Springs. True, those conditions were hard for a 


town of less than 200 population, but he had won in the first move and 
felt sure of success. A sub-committee of three members, with I'ull power 
to locate the school if the conditions were obtained was appointed at 
Mitchell. This committee was composed of Rev. J. B. Freeland, G. C. 
Cofifee and A. W. Hayes. This committee met at the Springs on the 
22nd, Mr. Smart was there. He secured donations of land amounting to 
nearly 5000 acres, giving a large part of it himself. 

The plan of the church was to make the school preparatory, collegiate 
and theological. On the 25th of March Mr. Smart published a notice to 
all students of the county who had passed the grades of common schools 
to call on him before arranging to go away to school. The purpose of 
this notice was to interest the boys and girls, and through them, the 
parents of the community, in the proposed home school. 

About the midle of April the location committee made their final 
demand. It was that in addition to the land already pledged the people 
should raise for the school $2,000 in cash. A. B. Smart and C. G. Coflr'ee 
were apppointed a committee to solicit subscriptions. To men less in 
earnest, or less determined, the task set before them would have seemed 
impossible. They were asked to get for the school, in absolute gifts a 
sum of money equal to about one-twelfth of the total assessed value of 
all the personal property of Wessington Springs township. 

On the 31st of May Mr. Smart reported to the full church committee 
at Mitchell, and was rewarded with the permanent location of the school 
at Wessington Springs. The grounds of the seminary campus were 
surveyed Sept. ist on the tract at the foot of the hills donated to the 
school by Mr. Smart. During that week the trustees of the school held 
a meeting in Wessington Springs and selected the spot upon which to 
erect the seminary building. At this meeting they let the contract to 
Wm. Bremner, of Harmony township to build the foundation wall to be 
40x60 feet, and 11 feet high, 2I/2 feet thick at the bottom and two feet 
thick at the top. In the rear of this wall an addition must be built, i6x 
24; the whole to be completed in five weeks. They arranged to open 
the school on Nov. 8, 1887. Later it was found necessary to change the 
date of opening the school to Nov. 15th. 

When the wall was completed a roof was put over the main building 
and the addition, and covered with tar paper. The structure, when com- 
pleted ready for the first term of school, (they didn't call it "semester" 
in those days) had very much the appearance of a farm shed for animals, 
— so much so that for several years it was referred to by the students 
as "the sheep shed." It was necessary to again put ofif the day of 


John F. JVicks. 

T. H. Null. 

Samuel Marl CI ice. 

Mi\ and Mrs. Richard Daltou. 


The faculty secured for the seminary was Rev. J. K. Freeland, prin- 
cipal, jVIrs. J. K. Freeland, preceptress, Miss Mary Freeland, teacher, and 
Airs. A. B. Smart, teacher of music. The board of trustees was com- 
posed of Rev. J. B. Freeland, president ; Rev. C. G. Coffee, secretary and 
financial agent ; A. W. Hayes, treasurer, and W. S. Chamberlain, Rev. A. 
B. Smart, L N. Rich, and D. :\I. Lewis. 

The formal opening occurred on the 29th of November, 1887. The 
faculty and trustees were there and many of the people of Wessington 
Springs. The first hymn sung in the new school was old "Coronation." 
The occasion was, of course, given over mainly to speech-making. The 
prophecies of success made that day have been more than realized in the 
years that have followed. One of the most fitting things done that day 
was the tendering of public thanks, unanimously by a rising vote, to A. 
B. Smart for securing the location of the seminary at Wessington Springs. 

On December ist, 1887, the following named students were enrolled: 

Miss Mary Piper, Miss Lulu Smart, Miss Edith Thomas, Miss Alice 
Fear, R. C. Smith, J. W: Osborne, W. E. A. Thornton, W. B. Wilson, 
J. E. Bremner, H. C. Fear, x\lfred C. Thompson and Dale C. Wallace. 

A few days later, Dec. 17th, the "Alpha" literary society was or- 

The legislature of 1887 passed an act providing for a vote on the sub- 
ject of division of the territory, the election to be held on the usual elec- 
tion day^ — the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. 

A non-partizan delegate convention had been called to meet at Huron 
in July, and on July 7th a mass convention was held at the court house 
in Wessington Springs to elect representatives from Jerauld county. 
Chas. Davis of Alpena was made chairman and B. B. Blosser, secretary 
of the meeting. Delegates to the Huron convention were selected as fol- 
lows: D. F. Royer, B. B. Blosser, W. R. Day, J. W. Harden, B. R. 
Shimp. At Huron a division campaign committee was appointed for 
Jerauld county, composed of John Chapman and H. A. Miller — one de- 
mocrat and one republican. The county committee had but little to do, 
for the sentiment in favor of dividing the territory and admitting it into 
the Union as two states was nearly unanimous. 

But another matter that interested the people more than division was 
coming up for settlement at the election on the 8th of November : 

The petition with 471 signers asking for submission of the local op- 
tion question was not forgotten. Under the law the commissioners were 
bound to submit it, and the temperance people began to prepare for the 
contest. At that time Mrs. Nettie C. Hall was president of the county 
W. C. T. U. and Mrs. E. V. Miles was at the head of the Pioneer W. C. 
T. U, Both were well qualified to conduct a contest such as was before 


them. They had the advantage of the campaign and the victory of two 
years before. Practically the same methods were used. A law and order 
league was formed with I. N. Rich, of Harmony township as president. 
During October prohibition meetings were held in all the townships of 
the county. A lodge of the I. O. G. T. was organized at Wessington 
Springs with a large membership. It was named "Haddock Lodge" No. 
190. The officers were: A. Sturgis, C. T. ; Lillian Bateman, V. T. ; J. 
G. Campbell,' Chap. ; B. B. Blosser, Sec'y- ; Eva L. Hawthorne, A. S. ; 
Maude Campbell, F. S. ; Mrs. Mary Bateman, Treas. ; Nate Spears, Sen.; 
H. P. Campbell, Guard; E. S. Campbell, Mar.; Minnie Shryock, Ass't. 
Mar. ; Alary Williams, R. S. C. T., and Mrs. J. G. Campbell, L. S. C. T. 

The election for 1887 was called by the county commissioners, Oct. 
5th. The precincts, for some unknown reason, were made the same as 
those for the school election in February, 1884. 

A county commissioner was to be elected in the 2nd district, then 
composed of Anina. Media, Chery, Viola and Wessington Springs town- 

A republican convention to nominate a candidate was called to meet 
Oct. 29th. It was a delegate convention and nominated Alonzo Con- 
verse, of Anina township. On the surface everything seemed to be satis- 
factory. The candidate was known to be both honest and efficient. He 
had been identified with the "bolting" movement of iJ 

On the evening of the 5th of November, but two days before election,, 
a party of politicians gathered in the office of the True Republican at 
Wessington Springs to discuss the situation, and devise ways and means 
ro encompass the defeat of Judge Converse. The first essential, of course,, 
v/as an opposing candidate. After much discussion they decided upore 
Mr. John Grant, a farmer, living a mile south of Wessington Springs.. 
Mr. Grant had not been in any way connected with either faction, but 
vv^as known to be a firm believer in Republican principles. They deter- 
p-iined to make him their candidate and take the chance of his accepting 
the office if elected. Then the work was laid out for each man to do. 
The party broke up near midnight and some of them got scarcely a wink 
of sleep until the polls were closed on the next Tuesday evening. The 
democrats had not put up a candidate and the fight was wholly among 
the republicans. The supporters of Mr. Converse were not thoroughly 
aware of the move until late Monday morning. By that time nearly 
every man, democrat as well as republican, that could possibly be induced 
to refrain from voting for the regular nominee had been seen. The re- 
sult was the election of Mr. Grant by a vote of 129 to 100, and the elec- 
tion of almost the entire democratic ticket a year later. 


On the questions of division of the territory but few votes were cast 
against the two-state plan. 

On the sale of Hquor in the county the vote was a surprise. In the 
various townships the result was as follows : 

For the Against 

sale, the sale. 

Alpena 21 48 

Franklin i 32 

Blaine ■ 17 14 

Aiola 9 33 

Wessington Springs and part of Dale i 64 

Cher\' 10 29 

j\Iedia 2 27 

Anina o 44 

Crow Lake 12 21 

Pleasant 6 38 

Flarmony 6 30 

Marlar 9 22 

Crow 6 2t 

JLogan 9 12 


109 439 

Chapter 21. 

The winter of 1887 — 88 was one of unusual severity. The storms 
began in November, 1887. and each was more terrific than anv that had 
been experienced by the settlers since the storm of 1879, when Williams, 
the mail carrier, was so nearly frozen to death on Elm Creek. The 
weather increased in severity as the winter advanced, the snow getting 
deeper and the cold becoming more intense. The 9th of January, 1888. 
was very cold with a light south wind. The lOth was slightlv warmer, 
Ijut with a stronger south wind. On the 11th the wind was blowing a 
gale still from the south and the snow was drifting- badly. On the morn- 
ing of Thursday, the 12th of January, the wind had fallen and become 
■quite warm. The snow was melting a little. Great banks of fog fifteen to 
twent\' miles wide rested across the prairies from the vicinity of the I'lack 


Hills eastward into Minnesota. Between these banks of fog were stretches 
of country from thirty to forty miles in width where the sun shone 
brightly. One of these fog banks ran east and west along the C. & N. 
W. Ry., through the central part of Beadle, Hand and Hyde counties. 
Over all of Jerauld county the morning was warm and bright. 

Farmers took advantage of the pleasant weather to go to town or to 
go to fetch hay from the prairie. All felt a relief from the rigorous 
wintry weather that had preceded. In Jerauld county at that time were 
1025 children of school age. Owing to the balmy condition of the air, 
probably a greater percentage of those children went to school that day 
than on any previous day for weeks. 

T. L. White, who lived at the hills in Chery township, was engaged 
as teacher in what was then known as the Kinney school, which stood 
on the southwest corner of section 8. On the morning of the 12th of 
January he went to the school house as usual, but stopped when he 
arrived at the top of the range of hills and for several minutes stood 
looking ofif over the Jim River valley, enjo3ang a scene and a morning that 
were simply glorious. Low down on the northern and southern horizons 
were dense, black cloud banks, while all about him and away over the 
white plain at his feet, were the busy farm homes all bathed in the warm 
sunlight and fanned b}' the warm southern breeze. He went on to the 
school house and kindled the fire. The children came in one, two, or 
three, at a time until nearly the whole school was present. It was too 
pleasant to stay in doors and at the forenoon recess all were out running, 
shouting and playing games. 

As the school bell rang some of the children remarked that "the 
clouds up north are coming." Mr. Wihte looked from the window just 
in time to see a whirling mass come rolling down upon the school house. 
A cold wave had been driven by a furious wind into the most northern 
of the fog banks, freezing it into particles fine as sifted flour. This 
liad been driven at the rate of sixty miles an hour down upon the next 
bank where the same thing occurred. So one after another those great 
wind rows of fog were picked up and hurled southward. The mass was 
blinding, suffocating, freezing. The coal house of the Kinney school was 
but a few feet from the school building, but yet it was with great diffi- 
culty that the teacher and larger pupils succeeded in getting enough fuel 
to keep the room warm. All day and all night the school children stayed 
with Mr. Wihte in the school house. 

As the storm rushed south and east, picking up the fog banks, one 
after another, it became more and more stifling and fatal to people or 
animals caught by it. The death rate shows a steady increase as the 
volume of wind, cold and snow swept on. In Spink county three were 


frozen; in Hand 6; in Jerauld 5; in Bon Homme 19; in Lincoln 20; in 
Turner 2T„ while in Iowa, but few escaped without serious injury who 
were caught by the storm where there were no fences to guide them. 
The great blizzard, spread over the entire Mississippi Valley and at nearly 
the same time struck the coast all the way from Galveston, Texas, to 
Boston, Mass. 

But the foregoing is sufficient to show the nature and extent of the 
storm. We have to do only with Jerauld county. 

Chapter 22. 

Pleasant Hill school house, at the time of the great blizzard, was 
located on the north line of section 27 in Logan township, near the ceme- 
tery and close to where it now stands. The school house was small and 
the nineteen pupils were crowded together — three to each desk. , The 
popularity of Mr. John Wicks as a teacher drew to this school nearly 
half of the school children of the township. Among those who went to 
his school, and attended on the 12th day of January, 1888, were: 

Ernest Bailey, Edith Bailey. Guy Frick, Harry K. Frick, Will Heine- 
man, August Heineman, Hattie Krumwied, Charles Krumwied. Minnie 
Meyers, Henry Meyers, Herman Meyers, John Meyers, Lizzie Pflaum, 
Andrew Pflaum, Minnie Walters, Henry Walters, Fred Kappleman, 
August Kappleman, Minnie Kappleman, and Lena Kappleman. 

The residence of August Kappleman. one of the patrons of the school, 
stood about 150 yards from the school house. 

The story of this school is best told in the language of the teacher, 
John F. Wicks, who, a few days after the storm wrote a full account of 
it to his friend, Mr. Frank D. Scott, at Mt. Zion, 111. The letter was 
published at the time in one of the local papers of county. 111. 

"Now for the story, 'My First Experience in a Blizzard." Date, 
January 12th, 1888. 

The day preceding it snowed and drifted all day, wdnd in the south. 
Thursday morning there was a double ring visible around the sun, a 
light wind from the south, a dull, obscure, hazy atmosphere, with the 
temperature about freezing. The children all reached school earlier than 
usual on account of a storm coming from the northwest, working up 
against the wind. After school called I did not notice the storm until 
it struck the house. The wind suddenly shifted to the northwest and in 
an instant we were in a fierce, blinding storm of snow and sleet. Ten 


feet was beyond the limit of vision unless you looked the way the wind 
was blowing. The temperature fell rapidly, the wind blew the snow 
under the door, up from the floor, in the windows and even from above, 
so that with constant and careful attention the room was kept barely 
comfortable. Noon came, no abatement. Very few ventured out of the 
house. Spent all noon in getting- in coal and shoveling snow from the 
coal house which was nearly full of snow. Recess — gale increased if 
anything. Night came — no stop whatever in the storm, and we came to 
the conclusion to stay in the school house all night. I asked the boys to 
help 'do chores,' bring in coal enough to last all night, while I went to 
a neighbor's house ( Kappleman's, 150 yards away) and see what arrange- 
ments could be made, leaving orders for no one to leave the house till I 
came back. Started for the neighbor's (side wind) which I reached with- 
out difficulty, obtained wraps for the children, then returned. Travelled 
by guess, for seeing was out of the question ; the wind was no guide — as 
shifting and deceitful as the Will-o-the-wisp. My scheme was to get 
the girls to the neighbor's, and the boys and I would bunk in the school 
house. Told the boys (12) to get more coal in so not to go out in the 
night, and be sure not to try to leave the house, while I took the girls 
to the neighbor's. Nine girls and one big boy (19 years old) joined 
hand-in-hand, were to follow me, thus leaving me free to lead the way, 
the big boy behind. 

Half way over I turned to see if all were coming and found the line 
broken and children scattered. Stopped, got all together and try to 
keep together, but by turning lost my bearing. (Put yourself in my 
place). Placed the wraps over them and told them not to move until 
we knew which way to go. In a few moments I found the big rocks. 
(130 feet due east of the house) and moved the girls there and bunched 
them again. They were crying with the cold then and the big boy said 
he was freezing. The snow and sleet would cut our faces so we would 
almost smother a.nd not see a particle ; the wind would whirl every way, 
yet we all knew we were less than 150 feet from the house. But which 
way was west. Horror or horrors! I placed the boy as far from the 
girls as he could see and I went as much farther from him. This was 
done several times in different directions and at last I found the cuttings 
nearer the house ; got down on my hands and knees, found a row and 
followed that until I knew I was near, or ought to be near, the house ; 
pulled the ice from my face and beheld the house not more than twenty 
feet from where I stood. I lost no time in getting the children in, who 
were all crying piteously with the cold. 

We were out about fifteen minutes, but nearly all were frosted, sev- 
eral pretty badly, so much so that fingers, faces and feet were blistered. 


The teacher undid the wraps, put frozen Hmbs in water and did all he 
could before he knew he was 'touched.' 

The lady spread bread and butter for the boys, and we started back. 
While these doings were going on the sun had gone down, the boy was 
afraid to go, and the best policy being not to risk chances again of a 
night on the prairie, with the snow for a winding sheet, if we went back. 
Nobody cared for supper; all went to bed to keep warm; 14 persons in a 
14x20 house; sleep was out of the question. Between 12 and i A. AI. 
the wind lulled for a few moments. I arose, dressed and started for the 
school house, which I reached without mishap. All were safe around 
the fire where we stayed till broad daylight. The thermometer regis- 
tered 30 degrees below zero, with a stiff wind blowing from the north 
v/est. A truly happy boy, thinking what was and what might have been. 
I thank the Father of all Mercies for care and guidance. My mitten had 
been wet while shoveling snow and getting in coal, so when I first pulled 
it off became as a board, at least I could not get my hand in it. That 
hand, the right, was frozen badly, blisters on my wrist as large as a 
dollar ; face 'touched' a little, hand is sore yet, hardly use it with any 
comfort and everything hits it. Saturday I turned out to help hunt for 
the dead, was gone all day. I\Ir. Byers (C. H. will remember him) was 
found four miles from home frozen stiff. John F. Wicks." 

The experience of IVIiss May Hunt and her pupils of the Knieriem 
school in Harmony township was still more terrible and would have 
been a heart rending affair but for the fortitude and heroism of one of 
the scholars, Fred C. Weeks. I am able to give two views of the storm 
in that school district — one from the parents at home anxious for the 
safety of their children, who for aught they knew were lost in the storm, 
and tlie other that of the school huddled in a little pile of flax straw for 
twelve hours, while the terrible fury of the storm raged about them. A 
letter by Rev. S. F. Huntley, still a resident of Harmony township, writ- 
ten a few years after the storm to a friend in New York, is before me 
and from it I copy the following: 

"The climate is somewhat variable and it is not always possible to 
tell what is coming next ; pleasant weather is the rule but storms are not 
unknown. On the 12th of January, 1888, a blizzard surprised us; we 
had been calling every storm a blizzard, but then decided that we had 
never had a blizzard before and never wanted one again. The 
morning was warm, thawing, and the wind was in the south. 
It wheeled suddenly to the northwest and rolled over the coun- 
try a wave of frozen mist or fine snow, like flour, so dense 
that one could not see four feet. In fact it so filled the eyes that one could 
not see at all. It penetrated the ears, nose, and mouth, and clothes, 


every crevice in every building, knothole, keyhole, nail hole, and crack 
that the air would go through, and there seemed to be a strong draft in- 
ward through every crevice. Our three children were at school, and 
only the baby, four years old, at home with us. The storm struck us at 
about 10 A. M., and raged till the next morning about 4 o'clock. \Mien 
night came wife was very uneasy and depressed^ — wondering if I could 
not go for the children, but it was impossible ; I scarcely made the house 
at less than 40 rods away when the store struck, and the children were 
a mile away. So I comforted her with the assurance that the teacher 
would stay with all the scholars at the school house, and if they should 
undertake to reach her boarding place, some 15 or 20 rods away, they 
could probably make it. We commended the precious ones to God and 
waited. So confident was I that the children were all right that next 
morning I did the chores the first thing; they were left undone the night 
before, as it was impossible to do them. The weather had grown rapidly 
colder ; from thawing when the storm started till now the mercury stood 
30 degrees below zero, and a stiff northwest wind, but the sun shone 
blight and clear. I was warming my feet at the stove expecting then 
to go after the children, when the door was opened and in rushed a neigh- 
bor without rapping, who exclaimed excitedly : "You better be seeing 
after your children; they stayed in a straw-stack last night." I would 
not have been more astonished if I had been assaulted. "Are they alive?" 
I demanded. "I don't know, I didn't hear any particular." "How do 
you know that they were in a straw stack ?" "Mr. Knieriem was over to 
Mr. Dingle's and told us." "What did Mr. Knieriem want? Did he 
come over to tell you?" "No, he came after same beef's gall." "Were 
his children in the stack?" "Yes, the teacher and all the scholars." "Are 
any of them alive ?" "I don't know ; I didn't hear any of the particulars." 
"Why didn't you find out if they were alive?" "As soon as he told us 
I put on my coat and came right over to let you know." Wife was al- 
most frantic with anxiety and suspense. I could only comfort her with 
this hope — they cannot be all dead or Mr. Knieriem would have no use 
for beef's gall. It did not take long for Mr. Bartie and me to get there 
with my fleetest horse — he took care of the animal and I went in. They 
were all alive, but very much the worse for their contact with a blizzard. 
All were frozen more or less but only one, Addie Knieriem, sultered per- 
manent injury; she lost one foot and the toes of the other. Our children 
escaped most easily. ]\Iary lost the cuticle from the feet to her knees, 
Mabelle the same and the skin from one heel. They undertook to go 
from the school house to Mr. Hinners, a distance of 15 or 20 rods, where 
the teacher boarded, but missed the house and ran upon a pile of flax 
straw — a couple of loads he had hauled up for fuel as near to the door 


as he thought safe, perhaps 4 or 5 rods. Unable to find the house or to 
make the inmates hear they dug into the stack and stayed till morning. 
The oldest boy, a young man 18 years old, as soon as the storm subsided 
enough so that he could see the house hobbled to the door with feet and 
hands frozen and aroused Mr. Hinners who came out and helped them 
in. The teacher had her feet badly frozen, but had been keeping up the 
spirits of her pupils bravely during the night and keeping them awake. 
Now the reaction came on, and when I came in she cried and all the 
scholars with her. The catastrophe, the feeling of responsibility, and the 
fear of being blamed were too much for her and she gave way. She 
was a member of my church, as were also the parents of Addie Knieriem. 
Wife wanted to go back east as soon as possible — the first discontent I 
had heard from her since we settled here ; but a little later, a still more 
destructive blizzard in New England and New York reconciled her again. 
Five persons lost their lives in that storm in our county ; and a large 
number of horses, hogs, cattle and sheep, I never learned how many. I 
lost one heifer ; she could not make her way to the barn, 40 rods, although 
the rest got in safely. I was out watering them and had a task to reach 
the house. There were many narrow escapes and it seems a wonder that 
only five perished. A genuine blizzard is attended with electricity. A 
person would receive a shock from the stove during that storm. A. high 
wind usually prevails." 

The Knieriem school house was located at the southeast corner of 
section ;^2, in Harmony township, on what was then known as the Clap- 
ham land. It was a frame building 12x16, about which a sod wall had 
been built. The site where the school house stood is still plainly discern- 
able as is also that of the Hinner's house, which stood about 140 yards 
west of it but on the south side of the section line on the northeast corner 
of section 5 in Pleasant township. Not to exceed thirty yards west of 
the Hinner's house was about two tons of flax straw, placed there by Mr. 
Hinners for use as fuel. Between the school house and the Hinners 
residence was a gully about five feet deep, with steep banks, that extended 
from the hills on the north to the valley south of the section line. Across 
this gully a small bridge or culvert had been constructed and a well de- 
fined path led from the school house to the Hinner place. A few rows 
of small trees had been planted between the Hinner's house and the sec- 
tion line. 

Mr. George Knieriem lived a mile west of the school house, Mr. 
Dingle 80 rods east of it and Mr. Huntley three fourths of a mile east 
of Dingle's. Mr. Frank Weeks' residence was then about a mile north- 
east of the school house. 

The teacher in the Knieriem school house at the time of the great 


blizzard was Miss May Hunt, a sister of Mrs. J. H. Vessey of Wessing- 
ton Springs. The pupils were Fred and Charles Weeks, Mary, Ernest 
and Mabelle Huntley, and Frank and Addie Knieriem. 

On the morning of the I2th of January, 1888, all the pupils arrived 
at the school house early and amused themselves coasting down the steep 
hills until the school bell rang. A short time after the children were 
called into the school room to their lessons the hills and valleys were 
enveloped in the frightful storm. 

All day the wind continued to shake the little shanty and its sod walls. 
Through every nail hole and crack it drove the snow, fine as flour, siftirg 
it onto the floor, seats and desks. The children's clothing and books were 
powdered white and the stove gave ofif a constant hissing sound as the 
moisture fell upon it. The school work continued until the hour for dis- 
missal, though but little could be done because of the terrible din of the 
storm howling and shrieking without. 

By four o'clock in the afternoon the fuel supply was exhausted and 
the teacher determined to take the pupils to the Hinner's house. Twice 
Fred Weeks made the trip to the bridge across the gully and returned, 
just to see if it was possible to go through the blinding storm. About 
half past four the whole school was ready to make the effort. Joining 
hands, with Fred Weeks in the lead they started. Nothing could be seen 
and even breathing was difficult. They soon lost the path to the bridge 
and plunged into the little ravine a few feet south of the line. Here the 
teacher's veil became disarranged and an efifort was made to replace it. 
Then all started again, climbing the west bank of the gully as best they 
could, Addie Knieriem losing the wraps that were tied about her shoes 
in doing so. They passed along the south side of the rows of trees, 
expecting every moment to reach the house. The snow was drifted over 
the path and they could not find it. When nearly exhausted from their 
struggle with the snow and wind they came against the pile of flax straw. 
They had passed between the house and the trees missing the building 
by not to exceed six feet. Fortunately they found a pitch fork and a 
lath at the stack and with these Fred and Charles began with furious 
energy to clear away the snow and dig a hole into the side of the pile of 
straw. In a few moments they had made a place large enough to crowd 
the teacher and pupils in out of the sweep of the wind. 

Having provided the rest of the school with a shelter the three older 
boys — Fred, Ernest and Charles now endeavored to find the Hinner's 
residence. Some of the girls had worn aprons to school and these were 
lorn into strips and tied into a long string. Taking one end of the string 
Fred went out into the storm and began circling about in hope of reach- 
ing, or at least getting in sight of the house. It was no use. He could 


see nothing. The storm was blinding, suffocating and bewildering. He 
followed the string back to the straw pile. Then they called, shouted, 
screamed — singly and in chorus, but there was little chance of their 
being heard above the howling of the wind. They now made prepara- 
tions to spend the night in the stack. The hole was dug farther back 
into the straw and all crowded into it, Fred taking his place at the en- 
trance. It was a long night. They told stories, they sung, every few 
moments the roll was called. There was but little complaining, although 
some were freezing. Fred Weeks, as the oldest boy in the school, was 
looked to as leader and he felt that upon him rested the burden of bring- 
ing the school through alive. He kept the others awake and made them 
talk, and sing and move and laugh, although occasionally one would cry. 
So the storm and the night passed. About four o'clock in the morning 
the twinkling stars, which Frctl saw from his place at the side of the 
stack, told him the storm was abating. He arose and looked about. The 
cold was intense and the wind still blowing, but through the flying snow 
he caught a glimpse of the Hinner's residence, but a short distance away. 
His feet were badly frozen but he staggered through the snow until he 
reached the house and aroused the inmates. 

The teacher and pupils were taken to the house, all more or less frost 
bitten. Addie Knieriem had to be carried. Her feet were so badly 
frozen that amputation became necessary. Fred's feet were so badly 
frozen that the flesh dropped off, but he finally recovered. 

Chapter 23. 

At the Young school house in Crow township Mrs. C. V. INIartin was 
the teacher, but for some reason she was late that morning in getting 
started for the school house. The storm came on just as she was get- 
ting into the sleigh, and she remained at her boarding place. Of the 
pupils only two, Will and Wert Berger went to the school house that 
morning. They remained there until the next day. 

At the west school house in Dale township Fred Dickerson was 
teacher. The pupils were E. K. Robison and his brother Walter, Bert 
and Lary Pinard and Clark, Frank and John Easter. Aside from the 
inconvenience of sta}'ing all night at the school house they were none the 
worse for the stor'u. 

At the time of the great blizzard R. J- Miller was teaching the Bar- 
ber school, located at the northwest corner of section 35 in Pleasant 


township. The pupils in attendance on the 12th of January, 1888, were 
Emery, Richard, AmeHa, Emma and Cora Barber and Sarah and x\nna 
Ehnore. A young man named Frank Harrington took Mr. Barber's 
team that morning to take the chiklren to the school house. The storm 
struck when they were but a few yards from the school. They reached 
the house safely, but were compelled to stay there until the next morning. 
Heavy blankets were thrown over the horses and tied on so they came 
through the storm in good condition though badly chilled. 

At the same time Miss Alinnie Stanley, (now Mrs. S. W. Boyd of 
Pleasant township) was teaching in the Waterbury school. This school 
bouse was located about forty rods north and a little west of the north 
end of the Main St. of the town. The pupils in attendance on the day 
of the great blizzard were, Clara Leeds, Walter Rowe, Agnew Hull, 
Elton Hill, Frank and Percy Snart, Frank, Jennie and Clara Hopkins, 
Elmer and ^Minnie Waterbury, Delia, Ernest and Arthur Herring and 
Rasmus Nelson. 

When school closed at four o'clock in the afternoon, the teacher 
formed the pupils in line holding each others hands, and placing herself 
at the head, started for the village. She had placed Percy Snart, the 
largest of the boys, the last in the line, to bring up any who might falter 
or break away. Nothing serious happened until they reached the four 
corners by Herring & Rice's store. There a high bank of snow had 
formed across the street. Over it the whole line tumbled and hand clasps 
were broken. The teacher gathered the children again and piloted them 
to Hart's real estate office and got them in out of the storm. But in 
looking them over in the office she found that Percy Snart was missing. 
The teacher at once ran to Air. Snart's store to see if the boy had gone 
there. He had not been seen and the alarm was at once given that he 
was lost in the blizzard. A few men rushed out calling and shouting 
the boy's name, but about that time he reached one of the office rooms 
on the east side of the street with ears and face badly frozen. He had 
held to the line until it fell over the snow bank and then became be- 
wildered and could not find the others. He wandered about until he ran 
mto a trench that had beeen cut through a drift to E. N. JMount's barn 
east of the street. 

At the Needham school house in Anina township W. L. Holdcn was 
teacher. The pupils were Ada Needham, Alex. Truman and Ernest A'es- 
sey. School started that morning with but about one scuttle of coal on 
hand. About two o'clock in the afternoon the room became so cold that 
the teacher determined to take the children to the Needham residence, 
about 80 rods south. Fortunately the road had been well traveled and 


the snow blew out of it so that they were enabled to follow it without 

Frank B. Phillips was the regular teacher at the Teasdale school house 
in the northeast part of Dale township. Business matters called him away 
for a couple of days and his mother took his place for the nth and 12th. 
She spent the night of the nth with her daughter, Mrs. B. B. Beadel, 
who resided on the Northeast quarter of section i of that township. On 
the morning of the 12th her little grandson, Jesse Beadel took her 
with a one-horse sled to the school house. A few moments after their 
arrival the storm began. They remained in the school house several 
hours waiting for the storm to abate. The horse, still hitched to the 
sleigh stood at the south end of the building, but the whirling snow was 
fast covering it. Pity for the poor horse prompted the boy and his 
grandmother to attempt to go to her home, three miles southeast, on the 
NE 14 of 19 in Alpena township. The road was little better than a path 
across the prairie and could not be followed. When about a mile from 
home they entered a corn field, where the horse fell in the deep snow. 
Jesse got out and unhitched the animal and assisted it to its feet, 
but he could do nothing to get the sled out of the snow. 
Walking was impossible and by this time they could not tell which way 
to go. The boy then kicked the snow away from the sled as much as 
possible and tipped it up so as to form a shelter from the wind and 
snow. He wrapped the robes about Mrs. Phillips so as to keep her as 
warm as possible and then crawled down beside her to wait. Darkness 
came on and still the storm raged. About daylight the next morning 
Jessie was able to see his uncle's house about half a mile away and he 
told his grandmother to remain under the sled while he went for help. 
As he rose from his cramped position he saw the horse a few rods away. 
His limbs were numb and he could scarcely stand, yet he made a brave 
efifort and staggered along toward the house some distance before he 
succumbed to the intense cold. And there they found him a few hours 
later. Mrs. Phillips was rescued, but terribly chilled and badly frozen. 

At the center school house in Viola township Mrs. Wm. Wagner was 
teaching. The children at school on the day of the blizzard, were Frank 
Jonker, Karl Kruse, George Kruse, Frank and Florence Wagner. Ferdi- 
nand, Anna and Celia Clodt. The teacher retained the whole school all 
night, and the next morning Louis Jonker took all of them to his resi- 
dence for breakfast. 

During the winter of the great storm Miss Anna Groub was teacher 
in the Groub school house in Marlar township. It was located about 
twenty rods southeast of her father's residence: The pupils in attendance 
on the 1 2th of January were Wm. James, Ira and May Gi-ace, Allen and 


Frank McLean, Ed and Glen Ketchem, Zacharia Groub and Arthur Col- 
ley. In the afternoon John Groub undertook to bring the teacher and 
scholars from the school house to the Groub residence because of lack of 
fuel at the school. He made several trips taking- two or three members 
of the school each time. The last venture was with his brother and the 
two McLean boys. He kept the directions all right but got confused as 
to the distance. When he had gone what he thought was but little more 
than half way to the residence, his brother Zacaria ("Trix") saw the 
tracks of his sled where he had been sliding down a large snow drift 
near the house and from which the wind was blowing the snow. He 
called John's attention to the marks on the snow bank and insisted they 
were near the house. John thought the house was some ways off and 
was for going further. At that instant Anna, the teacher, opened the 
door and called. Trix was right. The house was but a few feet away 
and they were safe. 

The Cady school in Anina township was taught that winter by Miss 
Sarah Fish. The pupils in attendance on January 12th were George and 
Jesse Martin, Jake and Lon Winegaarden, Dick, Chas. and Leo Lehmer, 
and Tillie, Galen, Will and Grace Shultz. All the pupils were kept at the 
school house until the next day. 

At Crow Lake the school was held in the residence of Mrs. A. M. 
Allyn, her daughter Ellen being the teacher. The only children in the 
school Jan. 12th, were Frank and Joseph Dusek. They stayed at the 
Allyn house all night. 

In Chery township M. A. Small was teaching in the southeast school. 
The pupils at school on the day of the storm were Sarah, Kate, Maggie, 
Anna and Joe Thomton, and Jesse Small. After the storm began Mr. 
Thornton became so worried about the children that he started out and 
went to the school house, half a mile from his residence, and warned the 
teacher to not let a child go home while the storm continued. He then 
went home and making up a package of provisions made another trip 
to the school. 

Mrs. Rose Gregory was teaching during that winter in the Dale Cen- 
ter school. At the school on the 12th of January, 1888, were the teacher's 
three children, Bert, Laura and Francis ; Amanda and Lillabelle Chap- 
man ; Mary, Dan and James Tracy ; Rosa Youngs ; Matie, Nellie and 
Robert Mercer. In the afternoon ]\Ir. fiercer, who lived near the school 
house, went after his children and took them home, but the risk was so 
great that he refused to take the other pupils out into the storm. The 
teacher remained at the school house until the morning of the 13th. 

The Kogle school in Franklin township was taught by Miss R. E. 
Havens, now Mrs. L. J. Grisinger of Lane. As soon as the storm struck 


she took a number of scarfs, tied them together and made a line that 
would reach from the door of the school house to the shed in which the 
coal was kept and with the help of the larger boys brought enough coal 
into the school room to last until the next morning. No one left the 
school house until the blizzard was past. 

John Francis, who was teaching in the Steichen district in Blaine 
township, remained at the school house all night with Chas. McCune, one 
of his pupils. 

J. A. Ford stayed all night with his school at the Ford school house 
in A'iola township. The pupils were Howard and Susan Phillips ; Lillie 
Ford, and Alable Rhodes. 

Miss Nellie White, who was employed in the Flawthorne district of 
Wessington Springs township, retained her pupils at the school house 
until Friday morning. 

Miss Nettie Miles, w-ho was teaching the Rock A'alley school in Frank- 
lin township that winter boarded with David jMcDowall's family. On 
the morning of the 12th of January while at the breakfast table Mr. 
McD. told of some of the storms he had seen in Iowa, and then said to 
the teacher, "If any such storm comes on while you are teaching, don't 
let a child start for home." With her at the school house that night 
stayed Charles and Clarence Black ; William McLean ; May, Maggie, 
Nell, ^^'ill and Henry Shanley, and Gilbert, Margaret, Anna and Allen 
McDowall. The next morning at daylight Mr. McDowall went for them 
and had the whole school at his home for breakfast. 

]\Irs. J. W. Harden, during the winter of 1888 taught the largest 
school in P>anklin township in what was then called the Larson school 
house. ^lany of her pupils, who stayed with her that night, are now 
grown and still living in Jerauld county. Among them were : Andrew, 
David and Jennie Reid ; A\'m. and Robt. Brownell ; Oscar and Christ 
Lindel)ak ; John Volke ; Emma and Lizzie Forst ; Henry and Christ 
Rcfvem ; John, Angeline, Christ, and Anna Burg ; Emma, Dora. Lydia, 
Henry. ]\Iartha and John Goll ; Selma Newman. 

N. E. Williams, now of ^Mattock, Iowa, gives the following account 
of his recollection of the time : 

''The blizzard of 1888 was one of those convulsions of nature that can 
only occtu" when there is a certain combination of circumstances and con- 

Those conditions are only present at rare intervals and such a storm 
may not occur again in a hundred years if ever, and on account of the 
thicker settlement of the county and the presence of groves and fences 
to serve as guides to the bewildered, such a storm would not at the 
present time be nearly so calamitous. 

The winter of 1887 — 88 opened with unusual severity. All through 


December and the early part of January the snow covered the ground 
deeply and the cold was steady and intense. 

The weather being so cold and the roads so bad the settlers who lived 
long distances from town had remained at home until coal and provisions 
were nearly exhausted, so that when the morning of January 12th opened 
warm and balmy some one from nearly every home started for town to 
replenish their supplies. Stock that had been shut up in the stable for a 
long time were turned out to feed around the straw piles and to get a 
little needed exercise. Everything was in just the condition to make a 
sudden storm cause the greatest amount of loss and suffering possible. 

At that time I was living on the old homestead in Anina township, 
the family consisting of my wife and one little daughter, about two years 
old, my brother Geo. O. Williams, and myself. My brother was teaching 
the Moore school in Anina township and I was teaching the Nesmith 
school over in the edge of Viola. We were short of provisions and 
someone had to go to town for more. So George concluded not to teach 
that day and hitching up the team to a home-made sled he started for 
the "Springs" taking me with him as far as the schoolhouse where I 
taught. Before leaving home I turned the cattle out into the yard, which 
contained a large straw pile, and which was surrounded by a good high 

It was somewhat foggy and the air was saturated with moisture, the 
sun showing dimly through the haze. On every hand we could see 
cattle wandering around the prairie enjoying the unusual warmth and 
teams going across the plains in the direction of Wessington Springs 
and Woonsocket. 

At forenoon recess I was standing in front of the school house, sur- 
rounded by a group of the pupils and was just saying that I ought to 
dismiss school and go to Woonsocket for coal when a sudden whiff of 
cold air caused us all to turn and look toward the north, where we saw 
what appeared to be a huge cloud rolling over and over along the ground, 
blotting out the view of the nearby hills and covering everything in that 
direction as with a blanket. There was scarcely time to exclaim at the 
unusual appearance when the cloud struck us with awful violence and in 
an instant the warm and quiet day was changed into a howling pande- 
monium of ice and snow. 

The moisture which filled the air was changed to particles of ice, and 
driven by a wind of tremendous velocity, it drifted in through every 
crack and crevice almost up to the stove wdiich we kept red hot to drive 
away the fearful chill which accompanied the storm. The noise of the 
storm was so deafening that it was impossible to conduct classes, so we 
passed the day in such study as was possible under the circumstances. My 


mind, meanwhile, being racked with anxiety as to what was happening 
to the family and stock, and filled with fear for those who were caught 
out on the prairie. I had heard of such storms lasting for three or four 
days and could not help worrying over our own fate if such should be 
the case this time, twenty of us shut up without provisions or sufficient 
fuel in a little shack on the prairie. It was evident that our safety lay 
in remaining where we were and peremptory orders were given that no 
one should leave the schoolhouse for any purpose, for the storm was so 
blinding, bewildering and suffocating that one could uot face it for a 
moment and it was equally dangerous to go with the wind without any 
guide or landmark. 

As night drew on and the children began to get hungry, there were 
tears on the part of the younger pupils and rebellion on the part of the 
older boys who, with the rashness of youth, proposed to go home in spite 
of everything but I would not allow them to attempt it and told them 
that they must stay there even if force had to be used to make them do it. 
In spite of this, however, two of the big boys started out when my back 
was turned and for a few minutes I was sick with anxiety, but they soon 
came in again, white and scared, and after that there was no trouble, all 
were glad enough to stay. 

It soon became necessary to replenish the supply of coal. The coal 
house stood about thirty feet west of the school house. By creeping in 
the shelter of the west side of the house, then shutting my eyes and mak- 
ing a dash for it I was able to reach the coal house and after a number 
of such trips had enough coal to last until morning. While getting in 
the coal I first fully realized the awful smothering weight of the blizzard. 
The face was covered with ice in an instant, the eyes frozen shut and 
the breath taken away completely, while the fine particles of ice were 
driven into the clothing until, in a few moments, one was fairly cased in 
icy armor. There were electrical phenomena present also and we amused 
ourselves by putting the point of the poker to the stove and watching 
the shower of sparks leap out to meet it and by passing the hand over 
each others heads which would crackle and snap with electric energy. 

After two o'clock the wind began to abate somewhat and shortly after 
that time j\Ir. Frank Voge, who had children in the school, appeared laden 
with good things to eat for us all. He had taken sonsiderable risk, but 
traveling with the storm was able to reach us in safety. All through 
the early part of the night we could hear the low moaning bellowing of 
Dr. Nesmith's cattle which were caught in the storm while near the school 
house and stood there slowly freezing through the night and when morn- 
ing dawned they still stood there, some still alive, some dead on their 
feet, kept from falling by the snow, which had packed around them to 


the knees and was almost as hard as ice. With the first streak of dawn, 
by which time the blizzard proper was over, though a cutting wind still 
blew from the N. W., I could stand it no longer and started for home. 
I shall never forget the sensation which overpowered mc when I got to 
the top of the ridge which divides Hawkeye \'alley from the pairie and 
saw the smoke rising from the chimneys at H. C. Stephens', J. A. Swan's 
and S. S. Moore's, while there were no signs of life at the Williams 

I pictured my wife frozen to death while trying to save the cattle, the 
baby dead in the house and the home desolate. But my fears were 
groundless. The little girl was snugly wrapped in bed and the good 
wife was vainly trying to shovel away the snow from the barn door in 
order to get in a couple of steers which had saved their lives by getting 
in the lee of the house as they drifted away with the storm. I first got 
my half frozen wife into the house, started a good fire and then turned 
my attention to saving the stock and succeeded in saving three out of 
eleven head which at that time was all we had. It seems that the snow- 
had drifted over the barnyard fence and packed so hard that the cattle 
could walk over it and the silly brutes, instead of seeking the shelter 
of the straw pile, had walked over the fence and drifted away with the 
storm. The cattle that were saved were a strange sight with their bodies 
completely cased in ice, their heads, masses of ice -as large as bushel 
baskets from the congealed breath and, unable to sustain the weight, 
resting on the ground. Hammering ofif the ice with a club and pushing 
them around to restore the circulation it was possible after a time to 
get them in the barn. Their ears and tails were frozen and afterward 
dropped off. I think there were more bob-tailed and crop eared cattle 
in Jerauld county after the blizzard than ever before or since. 

^Jy wife had passed the night in great anxiety and suspense. She 
knew the cattle were perishing and feared that I had left the school 
house and attempted to get home. Once she started out to try to save 
the cattle, but after going a few steps realized that it was a desperate 
venture and the thought of what would become of the little girl if she 
were lost restrained her and caused her to return to the house. To this 
she undoubtedly owes her life. All night long she kept up as much fire 
as the short supply of coal would permit and had the lamp burning in 
the window to guide me in case I had tried to reach home. 

Toward noon Bro. George appeared with the team and relieved our 
great anxiety. It seems that he got to the "Springs" just as the blizzard 
struck and was safely housed through it all. Our personal losses were 
small, but in the aggregate the losses were immense. Dead cattle were 


lying- around the prairies all over South Dakota and here and there 
human beings were frozen to death or maimed for life. 

Mr. and Mrs. Davis were the only ones who lost their lives in our 
neighborhood. They perieshed near their home, a short distance east 
of the school house, where the children end myself spent the night. Some 
men made considerable journeys safely in the height of the storm. 

^Ir. John Grant went from the "Springs" to his home, a mile south, 
and arrived all right. With the wind in one's back and a cool head it 
was possible. To face the wind was out of the question. Genial Mike 
Barr, afterward killed by lightning, started from Judge Converse's for 
home, became bewildered, and finding a straw pile, crawled into it for 
shelter. In the middle of the pile he found a huge hog that had taken 
refuge there. The warmth of its body kept JMike from freezing and 
thereafter it was never safe to say a word against swine in his presence. 

There was a cruel aftermath to the blizzard, funerals, surgical opera- 
tions, cripples, fingers with first joints gone, ears without rims, and some 
hke poor Will Moss, who spent the night on the prairie in the shelter of 
his cutter, and supposed that he had escaped without damage, afterward 
died of diseases caused by the exposure. 

Many incidents might be mentioned but space forbids, I write only 
of personal experiences and happenings in the home neighborhood. The 
storm, however, was not confined to South Dakota alone. It swept over 
northwestern Iowa with ec|ual violence. Three persons lost their lives 
, in the vicinity of Sheldon, where we now reside. Such a calamity is no 
more likely to occur in South Dakota than in any other prairie state, but 
those who passed through it devoutly ho])e that such may not happen 
again any time or anywhere. 

Mrs. Anna Tryon remained all night with her school in the Fauston 
school house in Pleasant township. 

Chapter 24. 

The narrow csca])cs of individuals in the county, if told with fulness 
of detail, would fill a volume. I have gathered a few that can be verified, 
Init many ex])erienccs, equally hazardous must necessarilv remain un- 

In the winter of 1888 E. S. W'aterbury was residing on his homestead, 
the XM of 28 in Crow townshi]). On the morning of the 12th of January 
he drove to the village, of W'aterbury. taking his children, ]\Iinnie and 
I'.lmcr. to the ])ul)lic school. .After the storm set in Mr. Waterburv took 


the two children and Rasmus Xelson and started for home. ]\Irs. Water- 
bury was in poor health and at the homestead alone. Soon after starting 
the team got oiTf the erack and plunged into a snow drift. The two boys 
Elmer and Rasmus then went ahead of the horses, pulled them back to 
the road which was well beaten, and joining hands were able to follow 
the track until they ran against the windmill near the house. They had 
led the team nearly a mile. 

Air. Timothy Tryon, who then lived on the S. E. of 26 in Pleasant 
township, was on his way to the home of C. S. Barber on the NW of 35, 
when the storm came on. He turned about and attempted to go back 
home but was lost and wandered about for several hours. By the 
greatest good luck he chanced to run against Z. S. ]\Ioulton"s house in 
Crow Lake township and was rescued, but badly chilled. 

Isaac Byam, who lived on the XE of 24 in Pleasant township, was 
at his well watering the cattle when the strom struck. He drove the 
animals into shelter and then, went to the house. In the afternoon the 
coal pile was so covered with snow that he could not find it, so he went 
to the gran.ary and brought a sack of corn. He made a second trip, but 
missed the granary and came back. He tried again and when he reached 
the place where he expected to find the building he could see nothing of 
it. He stood for several minutes trying to see the granary, which he 
knew could not be far from him. A lull in the wind, no longer than a 
flash, gave him a glimpse of a dark object. He reached his hand toward 
it and touched the side of the granary. By that time the snow had sifted 
into the building through some nail holes and small cracks sufficiently 
to block the door. He then opened the window and climbed in that way. 
He filled the sack with corn and again made his way to the house, a 
distance of about twenty rods. 

In Viola township August Schuttpelz and W. P. Shulz were at work 
building a small shanty. They had boarded up one side of it when the 
blizzard came. They took shelter behind the side of the shanty. In a 
few moments the snow began piling in a drift about them. One of them 
took a scoop shovel they had brought with them and shoveled it away. 
The snow kept piling about them and they continued to throw it back, 
taking turns with the shovel. So all day and all night they fought against 
being buried alive in a snow bank. They were badly chilled but came out 
of it safe and soiuid. 

On the NW of 13 in Franklin township lived Frank Kutil, on land 
he had purchased from Joseph Sucha. Sucha was at Kutil's liouse when 
the storm came. Like many other early settlers, Kutil was economizing, 
that winter, by burning hay, instead of coal. The stack was about twenty 
rods northeast of the house. Several times that day Kutil and Sucha 
together went to the stack for fuel, taking a rope with which to tie the 

1 82 

hay into a bundle. After the bundle was formed it required the united 
strength of both to hold it. When, they thought they were near the house 
they would stop and kneel down until the)' caught a glimpse of the peak 
of the roof and then go on. It was perilous work, but there was no 
other way. 

In Chery township Mr. M. A. Scheafer was in his stable when the 
blizzard came on. He tried several times to make his way, against the 
storm, but each time gave it up and returned to the stable, where he was 
compelled to remain until the storm was over. 

At Wessington Springs T. L. Blank, who was then publishing the 
Wessington Springs Herald left his printing office, located near where 
the Oliver hotel now stands, and made his way along the foothills to his 
residence, a mile northwest of town, on one of the highest points. 

On the night of the blizzard J. H. Woodburn, who was then boarding 
at Price's ohtel, then known as the "Woodburn House" stepped to the 
door to look out, when he heard some one who was lost m the storm, 
calling for help. Accompanied by J. W. Barnum he ran across the street 
in the direction of the voice. They found L. J. Farnsworth a few feet 
south of Tarbell's hotel barn nearly crazed with fear. Woodburn caught 
him by the coat and dragged him to the barn door and pushed him inside. 
As he opened the door to let Farnsworth in, the light from the lantern 
tliat hung in the stable flashed upon some hideous looking objects just 
outside the door. Woodburn knew they were animals of some sort and 
calling to Barnum they drove them inside. It proved to be three oxen 
that had wandered from the residence of Mr. Cofifee in the north part of 
town. The animals were sompletely covered with snow and nearly suf- 
focated with the great balls of ice that had formed over their nostrils. 

August Bachmore's residence in Crow Lake township was on section 
ten. A few moments before the storm the sheep, about a hundred of 
tlicm, were turned out of the stable. The cattle shed was built into the 
side hill, with a hole in the roof for convenience in getting hay to the 
animals. The cattle were in the stable, but all efforts to get the sheep 
into shelter failed and they had to be left outside, where most of them 
v>ere found after the storm suft'ocated with the snow and ice that had 
formed over their noses. While the men were in the cattle stable making 
everything as comfortable as possible for the inmates, Frank Sailer came 
tumbling th'rough the hole in the roof. He had been caught by the storm 
while going home from Crow Lake and getting lost fate had guided his 
stc])s to the hole in the roof of Bachmore's shed. 

Vaurin Dusek then lived where he does now, on the north bank of 
Crow Lake, Crow Lake township. He had taken his ax to the lake to 
cut holes in the ice to water the cattle, while his daughter, ]\rarv, now 


Mrs. Petrole, drove them from the barn. He had cut but one hole when 
he became enveloped in the whirling mass of wind and snow. He im- 
mediately left the lake and went to meet his daughter, while she left the 
cattle and ran in search for her father. As luck would have it they 
bumped against each other about half w^ay between the barn and the 
lake. Together they made their way from one object to another until 
they reached the house. The cattle, i8 in number, all crossed to the 
south shore of the lake and smothered in the storm. 

C. S. Marvin lived on the NW of i8 in Logan township. He and 
his boy were driving his cattle to the residence of A. S. Fordham, on 
section 17, for water, when they were caught by the storm. The wind 
and snow hid the cattle from sight, and after riding about in a vain 
endeavor to round them up they attempted to go back home. That was 
found to be impossible and they turned toward Fordham's again. As 
good fortune would have it they reached the barn where Mr. IMarvin 
left the boy and groped his way to the house. Mr. Fordham at once 
went to the barn and took care of the animals. He then told the boy 
to take hold of his coat tails and taking the direction as nearly as he 
could judge started for the house. They were passing the house when 
they tumbled over a snow bank and rolled together down against the 
building and were safe. 

On the NE af 32 in Logan township a son of Joseph Byers was wa- 
tering the cattle at a pond near the barn, when the storm came. He 
attempted to drive the cattle to the barn against the wind. Being unable 
to do so he went to the house and told his father. Mr, Byers started at 
once to take care of the animals. The neighbors found him the next day 
about four miles south in Brule county, frozen to death beside a hay stack, 
where he had tried to find shelter. 

Chas. Kugler, in the western part of Media township, was out with 
his team of oxen and hay rack getting a load of straw from a stack about 
forty rods from his house. He unhitched the team from the wagon and 
tried to get back to the buildings, but did not succeed. They found his 
frozen body with his team, near the residence of J. T. Ferguson in the 
northwest part of Anina township, the following Sunday afternoon. 

After the storm a boy was found frozen to death near the north end 
of Long Lake in Harmony township. He had wandered in the storm 
from a few miles south of Miller, in Hand county, to where he dropped, 
overcome by the cold and exhaustion, 

G. R. Bateman and William Taylor were on the way to Woonsocket 
and wandered on the prairie several hours, finally getting in at the Haw- 
thorne residence near the Firesteel creek. 


A man named James Hutchinson tried to go from his house to the 
barn, but becoming confused he sat down in a snow bank and as he 
phrased it, "Hollered like a loon," until his wife, thinking she heard him 
call, went to the door and answered. He followed toward the sound of 
her voice and reached the house. 

Andrew Berg, living in Franklin township, tried to get a pailof water 
from his well during the storm, but wandered five miles, returning 
the next day. 

■Mr. William Davis, an elderly gentleman living in Mola township, 
started just before the storm to go southwest across a quarter section to 
the residence of J. X. Smith. He was lost near the barn and perished but 
a short distance from home. Mrs. Davis was found a few steps from the 
house almost dead. She died a few minutes after being taken in. 

Mr. Ezra Voorhees, of ]\Iedia township, lived on the NE quarter of 
35. He was about three quarters of a mile south of his house with Elmer 
Carpenter, when they were caught in the storm. They immediately started 
for Mr. \'.'s residence. His dog acted as guide. The intelligent animal 
would dash off into the storm and immediately return, as if to see if 
the men were following. This he continued until they reached the house. 

Chapter 25. 

Thursday, the 1 2th day of January, 1888, was strenuous for the 
stage drivers of Jerauld county, all but two of whom were in the employ 
of (t. N. Price. His drivers were A. G. Eberhart on the Woonsocket 
line; Rolla Cady on the Miller line; William AIoss on the Belford line, 
and also on the Crow Lake line ; Sam Wilson on the line from Crow Lake 
to White Lake with jehial Barnum as special, or supply, but usually 
employed about the barn at Wessington Springs. 

The line from Wessington Springs to Waterbury was driven by T. 
J. Pressey, and the line from Waterbury to Kimball by Chas. Gingery, 
who was carrying the mail for A. J. Brown, the contractor. 

Mr. Pressey had been making the trips between W^essington Springs 
and \\'aterbury, during the week preceeding the 12th of January, by 
going but one way each day. On Wednesday he made the trip from Wa- 
terbury to Wessington Springs, and on Thursday morning started back. 
He was near the residence of L S. Binford, when he encountered the 


storm, and was enabled to get in without misshap and remained there 
until it was over. 

The route driven by Charles Gingery took him from the village of 
Waterbury to Gann \'alley, thence to Lyonville and from there to Kim- 
ball. He left Waterbury on Thursday morning about 7 o'clock accom- 
panied by Miss Addie Ouim as a passenger to Kimball on the way to 
her old home in Illinois. They had passed Gann Valley, in Buffalo county 
and were nearing Lyonville, Brule county, when the soft, balmy air in 
which they had been riding was "in the twinkling of an eye" changed 
to a mass of blinding snow. The horses became unmanageable and left 
the road. After a protracted eft'ort to get on Gingery loosed the horses 
from the sled, a box-like concern, wrapped his passenger in the robes 
and bidding her sit down he tipped the vehicle over so as to protect her 
from the storm as much as possible and then getting in beside her waited 
for the end. The day and night were passed in that uncomfortable posi- 
tion. When daylight came Friday morning ne saw a house about a mile 
away and though badly frozen, he made his way to it for help. They 
were both taken to Kimball, where the lady died from the effects of her 
exposure. Gingery, though a cripple for life lived until November, 1908, 
when he died in Ohio. 

RoUa Cady left Wessington Springs on the Miller line Wednesday 
morning, and reached the north end of the route that night. Thursday, at 
the usual hour, he started on the return trip and had driven five or six 
miles, when the blizzard came upon him. In telling the story afterwards 
he said he knew of no pleasanter place to stay during a severe storm than 
at Green's ranch where there were several most agreeable young ladies. 
That ranch was five miles ahead and he determined to try for it. He 
succeeded and stayed there until Saturday morning when he continued 
his journey home, arriving that evening in good condition. 

The mail line between Wessington Springs and Woonsocket was 
daily. Al Eberhart left Woonsocket Thursday morning and had reached 
the farm of Mr. Boje about three miles west of the county line when he 
was forced to seek shelter. He stayed with the farmer until Friday morn- 
ing and then made the balance of the trip to Wessington Springs, arriving 
at noon. 

Sam Wilson, at Crow Lake, went to the barn as usual on Thursday 
morning and fed and cared for his team and then went to the post office 
and told the postmaster he would not go on the White Lake drive that 
day because there was going to be a bad storm. No amount of ridicule 
or urging would induce him to start. He remained at Crow Lake until 
the storm had passed. 


The Belford line was a semi-weekly, and supplied Sullivan, Parsons 
and Belford postoffices. The Sullivan office was- at the residence of W. 
W. Goodwin on the NE of 32 in Wessington Springs township and Par- 
sons was on the • of — ■ with a gentleman named Billings as 

postmaster. Will Moss had passed Parsons postoffice when he saw the 
storm coming. He whipped up the team in an effort to reach a farm 
house a short distance ahead. The family at the house saw him coming 
and witnessed the race until Moss became enveloped in the storm. Long- 
after the blizzard struck the house members of the family stood by the 
door and called, but no response could they get. Out on the prairie 
Moss was struggling to get his team through the deep snow and the 
suffocating storm, but the effort was useless. He stopped and unhitched 
the ponies from the sled and wrapping himself in the robes and blankets, 
tipped it over him and there he remained until the next morning, not 
much the worse for his experience. He returned to Wessington Springs 
Monday, leaving one of the ponies frozen to death near where he had 
spent the night on the prairie. 

A singular experience befell Howard Pope, who, then a boy of but 
14 years, was driving a mail line from Kimball, in Brule county to Cas- 
talia in Charles Mix county. While the event about to be related occur- 
red outside of Jerauld county, yet I tell it because Mr. Pope has been so 
long identified with life in this community. Probably no man in the state 
has carried mails by stage as many miles as Howard Pope. All told he 
has driven mail stage in Jerauld and near-by counties 150,800 miles — 
enough to have encircled the globe over six times. 

On the morning of the 12th of January, 1888, Howard, wrapped in a 
long fur coat with a very high collar, and otherwise dressed for winter 
weather, left Kimball postoffice about 9 o'clock, and had driven about 
six miles. He was near the residence of a farmer named Patteen. When 
the storm began, the team left the beaten track and were soon flounder- 
ing in a snow drift. Howard left the sleigh and Avent around the horses 
unhitching the tugs. In trying to get back to the sleigh he became 
separated from the team and after that could find neither the naimals 
nor the sled. He wandered about for some time until he came to a post 
in a wire fence. His long coat prevented his getting through the fence, 
so he attempted to crawl under it. ^Vhile under the fence he was pro- 
tected from the wind and pulling his coat collar up about his head he 
lay still to rest and get his breath. He was so warm and comfortable 
down there in the snow, wrapped in his great coat, which covered him 
completely, from head to foot, that he stayed longer than was his inten- 
tion when he stopped. His next sensation was of a pressure pressing upon 
him. He struggled and finallv threw oft" the weight. He rose to his feet. 


The wind had stopped blowing but the air was intensely cold. He saw his 
sleigh near by and close to it the horses, one of them frozen to death. 
By the position of the sun he knew it was early morning, and that he 
had lain about eighteen hours asleep under that wire fence. He went to 
Mr. Patteen's house and told his story. The farmer would not believe 
it possible until he had been to the fence and examined the hole in the 
snow. Howard was not even chilled. 

Such is the story of the blizzard, the one great storm of thirty years. 

Efforts were made in different parts of the county to assist in a finan- 
cial way, both Addie Knieriem and Mr. Chas. Gingery. Blank & Blank, 
then publishers of the Wessington Springs Herald, inaugurated a move 
to provide a fund for Miss Knieriem. A benefit social was announced 
to be held at the court house in Wessington Springs on the 22nd of 
March. A committee was appointed in each township to sell tickets. The 
result was $200, besides an annuity of $600 a year donated by a philan- 
trophist of Brooklyn. N. Y., through the influence of Dr. A. M. Mathias. 
Other entertainments of like character were held in various parts of the 
county; one at C. R. Nelson's in Anina township raising $11. 

For Chas. Gingery a social in Harmony township netted $15 and one 
at Scofields, in Marlar township $30. At the residence of B. G. Cum- 
mings, in Media $37.50 was raised, $7.50 of which was sent by people 
of Franklin township. 

In the forepart of March Mr. Cady resigned his position as driver 
on the Miller route and J. W. Barnum took his place. 

Chapter 26. 

On January 2nd, 1888, John Grant took the oath of office as county 
commissioner, and the new board organized with O. A. Knudtson as 

In June another move was made in the county to increase the board 
of commissioners to five members, but failed. 

At the July session of the board in 1888 a full report of receipts and 
expenses for the preceding year was made. From it the statement is 
made that the total expense of caring for the poor of the county during 
that year was but $179.07. Total receipts, $31,061.12; total expenditure 
$26,474.28. The entire debt of the county at that time was $15,842.07. 
In that statement no account was taken of uncollected taxes. 

On the 5th day of July, 1888. T. H. Null resigned his office of district 


attorney, and a few weeks later moved to Huron, where he had formed 
a law partnership. On the lOth of July the board appointed A. Converse 
to the position made vacant by the resignation of ^Ir. Null. 

The county tax levy made by the county board in 1888 was: County 
fund, 6 mills ; road, i mill ; bridge, i mill ; sinking- fund, 4 mills. The 
territorial tax levy was : General revenue, 3 and one-tenth mills ; bond 
interest, four-tenths mills ; stock indemnity, seven-tenths ; the latter to be 
levied only on cattle, mules and horses. 

In calling the election of 1888 the county commissioners bounded the 
precincts the same as at the February school election in 1884. 

The legislature of 1884 had provided for the election of county 
superintendents in June with a view of taking the office out of the usual 
political scramble. On the 19th of June, 1888, I. S. Binford was re- 
elected, receiving 365 of the 366 votes cast at that election. During all 
the time he continued in office Mr. Binford kept alive the interest in 
township institute Avork among the teachers. The third annual count}- 
institute was held Xov. 12 to 16, 1888, with C. J. Pickhart as conductor 
and S. F. Huntley, assistant. At that institute the Jerauld County Teach- 
ers' Reading Circle was organized with Fred Luke as manager. 

On February 25th, 1888, the Agricultural Society had a meeting, at 
which C. W. Hill was elected president ; R. Vanderveen, vicepresident ; 
J. W. Thomas, secretary; and B. J. Cummings, treasurer. The fair that 
year was held on the grounds north of Wessington Springs, and though 
not a success financially, yet the exhibits, in equality, were the best that 
had been made. 

The crop yield in that year, considering the methods of farming, were 
good. The following totals compiled by John F. Wicks, from the asses- 
sor's reports, while at work, at that time in the county clerk's office, show 
the amounts of the various farm products. 

Amount. Leading township. 

Corn 204,982, Viola. 

Wheat 215,416 Viola. 

Barley 25,915 Viola. 

Potatoes . . . 14)652 Viola. 

Butter (lbs.) 99.27° Viola. 

Oats 205,581 Alpena. 

Rye , 10,048 Marlar. 

Flax 34,569 Pleasant. 

Cheese (lbs.) 4.585 Wessington Springs. 

Tame hay (tons) 2,003 

Wild hay (tons) 20,180 

Poultry $7^694 

1 89 

But for the high rates of interest that many of the settlers were still 
paying, the county would have been placed in a prosperous condition. 

During the year 1888 a railroad project from Huron southwest was 
talked of, and another from Pierre southeast. Both cities were candi- 
dates for capital of the coming state. 

Some changes were made this year in the management of the news- 
papers in the county. The firm of Blank & Blank leased the Herald to 
W. N. Coffee, who assumed control of the paper May 4th, but only 
continued in charge until the last issue in June. 

On the 1st of April, N. J. Dunham retired from the Journal at Alpena 
and Lacy F. Shafer took the editorial management, under a lease from 
D. F. Royer, but purchased the paper in the second week in October. 

The farmers" alliance, feeling the need of a newspaper in its work in 
the county, leased of B. B. Blosser one column of the True Republican 
and elected O. J. Marshall its editor. Mr. Marshall' began furnishing 
"copy" for the printer on the 20th of ^March, and during the next year 
continued to make it one of the most influential columns published in the 

During the fall campaign Guy McGlashan published a paper called 
The Independent, at Crow Lake, but suspended the publication about 
January 15th, 1889. 

In 1888 the first bounty for growing trees received by any citizen of 
Jerauld county was paid by the territorial treasurer to Mr. L. G. Wilson, 
for trees grown by him on his pre-emption claim in A'iola township. 

The Fourth of July celebrations in the county in 1888 were at Alpena 
and Crow Lake, but as yet I have been unable to get the particulars of 

During the winter of 1888-89 a debating society was organized at the 
Grieve school house in Harmony township and has been continued ever 
since, during the winter months. 

In September of 1888 Mr. G. G. Livermore, of Fairmount, Minn., 
brought to Jerauld county seven car loads of sheep which he leased to 
settlers in Chery and Dale townships on shares. This was the beginning 
of a business that paid the owner of the sheep a nice profit and enabled 
many of the farmers to tide over the hard times of a few years later. 

All through the summer and fall of 1887 the farmers of Alpena and 
the country tributary to that station had been discussing the subject of 
building a farmers elevator there. Application was made to the railway 
company for a site for the building, but was met with a flat refusal. By 
the spring of 1888 the farmers had become determined in the matter and 
again brought it to the attention of the company. This time a meeting 
was arranged for between ]\Iessrs. May, Worrall and Teasdale on the 


part of the farmers and a representative of the railroad, about the lirst 
of April. The result of this meeting was so encouraging that a call was 
issued for those interested to come together at the depot in Alpena on 
April 1 2th to discuss the matter more fully. Another meeting was held 
on the 15th of xA.pril and officers of a temporary organization were elected 
as follows: Pres., G. J. Royer; Vice Pres., O. G. Woodruff; Secretary. 
John Teasdale ; Treas., C. D. Worrall. On June 30th the plans had been 
so far promoted that a meeting was held at the Alpena school house to 
adopt by-laws of a corporation and elect officers, a charter, dated June 
1 2th, 1888, having been already obtained. The work of selling stock and 
building the elevator was now pushed as rapidly as possible and by the. 
beginning of the threshing season the company was ready to receive 
grain, John Teasdale being the buyer. 

In the autumn of 1888, L. N. Loomis, who was about to retire from 
the office of register of deeds, established The Bank of Alpena. He con- 
tinued as sole proprietor of the institution until December 15th, 1891, 
when he took D. F. Royer and H. J. Wallace into the bank with him and 
they incorporated it with a capital of $6,000, Air. Loomis still being the 
manager. In 1902 the building now occupied by the bank was erected, 
and in January, 1903, the bank and building were sold to O. L. Branson. 
D. T. Gilman and J. R. Alilliken, the latter being the resident manager. 
Under this management the bank continued until January ist, 1907, 
when it passed into the hands of the present owners, who have increased 
its capital to $12,000, with $3,000 surplus. 

After the dedication of the I. O. O. F. Hall on July 4th. 1888, Roth 
Bros, opened a stock of general merchandise in the lower room, moving 
from the store room previously occupied by them on the opposite side of 
the street. They continued the business until 1891, when they sold to D. 
S. and M. A. Alanwaring. The present owner, Mr. A. F. Smith, bought 
the stock and business from jManwaring Bros, in 1897. 

Among the pioneers of the county who died in 1888 were J. O. Gray, 
county assessor, on Nov. ist, and L. H. Tarbell, proprietor of the Wes- 
sington Springs Hotel, on March 22nd. After the death of Mr. Tarbell 
the hotel was conducted by Miss Lina A. French until the appointment 
of R. S. Vessey as adm.inistrator of the Tarbell estate. 

The first meat market in Wessington Springs was opened by Ed. 
Hinchlifif, of Woonsocket, on Monday, April 9th, 1888, but the enterprise 
was not long lived. 

On May loth, 1888, John Grant made the first final homestead proof 
on seven year residence that was made in the county. The land was the 
SE of 19 in Wessington Springs township. 


Mrs. Julius Smith opened a millinery stock May 23rd, in a building 
owned by T. H. Null west of ]yIorse & La Font's hardware store, but it 
also was of short duration. 

The closing exercises of the first year of the Seminary occurred en the 
afternoon of June 14th, 1888. The students who had a part in these 
exercises were Dale Wallace, ]\Iaude Spears, Cora Sickler, Walter Bate- 
man, Gertie Anderson, Walter Mathias, Matie Mercer, F. E. Gaffin, 
Chas. Ford, Nellie Vessey, Effie Crow, Kara Snart, A. C. Thompson, 
Lena Crow, John Bremner, James Osborne and Lulu Smart. 

The first harness shop in Wessington Springs was started by R. E. 
Ketchum in June, 1888. Another shop was opened soon after by C. N. 
Hall and in the following winter ]\Ir. Ketchum moved his work to his 
home on Sec. 31 in ]\Iarlar township. 

December 5th, 1888. Some one threw a burning cigar stub into the 
street. A strong northwest wind picked it up and tumbled it into a pile 
of street refuse that had accumulated under the platform in front of Al- 
bert & Vessey's store. 

By midnight all the town was asleep — all but John R. Francis, who, 
as was his custom, sat in the office of the Tarbell hotel reading by the 
light of a kerosene lamp. About 2 o'clock he chanced to glance out of 
the window and saw a small jet af flame leap up under the store front. 
A cup of water would have extinguished it. He sprang to the water 
pail that usually stood on the wash stand in the hotel office. It was 
empty. He shouted "fire" and ran to the kitchen to get a pail of water 
from there. That pail was empty. He took it and ran to the east door 
of the kitchen to get water from the barrels that usually stood just out- 
side in a wagon. The door was locked and the key gone. He ran out 
through the office and around to the wagon, still shouting ''fire ! fire !" 
The barrels were empty. Not a drop of water nearer than the creek. 
He ran to that, all the time sounding the alarm. As he passed the fire 
a pail full of water would have put it out. But the wind was fanning 
it and scattering the sparks. By the time he returned from the stream 
a crowd was gathering, but the flames were beyond control. In an hour 
the store was in ashes, the Tarbell hotel was in ruins with its stables and 
sheds, together with Hackett's real estate office and the oil-shed belonging 
to the hardware store. There was no snow on the ground and a prairie 
fire went racing off southeast before the wind. The hotel was never 
rebuilt. The mercantile firm went into the Stephens' building and was 
soon doing business again. 


Chapter 27. 

But little change was made in the mail service of the county during 
the year. Sept. ist the Templeton post office in Media was discontinued 
and in the same month Ada P. O. was established at the residence of A. 
Converse in Anina township. This office was named in honor of Miss 
Ada Xeedham, youngest daughter of Don C. Needham and a niece of 
the postmaster. 

In February, 1888, the P. O. department at Washington, on its own 
motion changed the name of the Lyndale office to Fauston, because it 
was so often mistaken for Tyndale in Bon Homme county. 

The first political county convention in 1888 was held at Wessington 
Springs by the Democrats on the 25th day of April, with John R. Francis 
as chairman and J. R. Dalton, of Blaine township, secretary. It was 
held for the purpose of selecting delegates to the Democratic territorial 
convention at Watertown to elect delegates to the national convention. 
The delegates selected were Pat McDonald, J. R. Dalton, J. J. Steiner 
and J. R. Francis. This was a mass convention. 

The Republican convention for the same purpose was held at Wes- 
sington Springs, May 12th, with C. E. Thayer, chairman and F. B. Phil- 
lips, secretary. The delegates chosen at this meeting were L. F. Schaefer, 
B. B. Blosser, W. T. Coffee and O. P. Hull, all newspaper men, sup- 
posed to be provided with railroad passes, according to the custom of 
those days. This, also, was a mass convention. 

The "line-up" for the battle in the county began with the meeting of 
the Republican county central committee at Wessington Springs on June 
23rd, 1888. At that meeting a mass convention was called for July 14th 
to elect delegates to the territorial convention at Watertown, Aug. 22nd, 
to nominate a delegate to congress. The committee at the same meeting 
issued a call for the regular county convention to be held Sept. 29th, at 
Wessington Springs, and recommending a call of the township caucuses 
for Saturday, Sept. 22. 

In July the Democrats held their congressional convention at James- 
town, at which J. W. Harden, of Jerauld county, was nominated for 

At the Republican convention at Watertown George IMatthews, of 
Brookings, 'was nominated for congress. 

The call for township caucuses was formally issued Sept. 7th, with 
the recommendation that all caucuses be held from the hour 2 p. m. to 
4 ]). m. and be conducted like general elections, the township committee- 
men to act as judges. This method of holding caucuses was adopted 


H. J. Wallace. 

J. IV. Harden. 

Wessington Springs Stage Coach starting for Woonsockct. 


and continued to be the practice in Jerauld county until the adoption of 
the "honest causes" law in 1906. 

Those who proposed this method thought its absolute fairness would 
be a safeguard against the feeling of dissatisfaction that had in former 
years, followed each Republican county nominating convention. It was 
found, however, that shrewd politicians will manipulate any convention 
and that disappointed candidates will not be satisfied with the results. 

The county convention met on the day appointed in the call, and John 
Teasdale, of Dale township, was made chairman, with E. S. Waterbury. 
of Crow township for secretary. The convention nominated D. F. Royer. 
of Alpena, for councilman, and gave him the privilege of selecting the 
delegates to the district legislative convention, which had been called to 
meet at Alpena on October 2nd. The ticket placed in nomination was 
as follows. 

Register of Deeds — J. M. Wheeler, of Blaine. 

Treasurer — H. J. Wallace, of Chery. 

Sherifif — Joseph O'Brien, of Crow Lake. 

Dist. Attorney — C. V. Martin, of Crow. 

Probate Judge — A. Gunderson, of Wessington Springs. 

Assessor — C. S. Richardson, of Harmony. 

Surveyor — J. M. Corbin, of Marlar. 

Croner — A. M. Mathias, of Wessington Springs. 

Justices and constables were also nominated. 

A county central committee was named as follows : J. R. Milliken. 
chairman, H. A. Miller, H. A. Peirce, S. S. Vrooman, R. S. Vessey, S. 
H. Melcher, Fred Luker. At the conclusion of the other business Royer 
announced the names of the delegates to the legislative convention, as 
follows: J. R. Millikin, O. G. Woodruiif, R. S. Vessey, S. H. Melcher 
and H. A. Peirce. 

At the Alpena convention Oct. 2nd, there were three candidates for 
territorial councilman from this district, Lowry, of Beadle county. Price 
of Sanborn, and Royer of Jerauld. Twenty-six ballots were taken before 
any candidate received a majority. Then one of the Jerauld county dele- 
gates voted for Lowry and he was nominated. .The convention then 
named Royer and Price for assemblymen by acclamation. 

Two days later, Oct. 4th, the Democratic legislative convention was 
held at Alpena. Mr. Davis, of Beadle county was named for the terri- 
torial council, and Frank Anderson, of Sanborn county, and A. Converse, 
of Jerauld county, for the assembly. 

The Democratic county committee met at Wessington Springs on Oct. 
2nd and called a delegate convention for that party, to be held on Oct. 
13th. The convention met at the time appointed and was called to order 


by Jefferson Sickler, committee chairman. Twenty-eight delegates were 
in attendance, John Chapman, of Wessington Springs, was made chair- 
man. A full ticket was nominated, although a part of the Republican 
ticket was indorsed. It was as follows : 

Register of Deeds — F. W. Whitney, of Alpena. 

Treasurer — H. J. Wallace, Republican, indorsed. 

Sheriff — Pat McDonald, of Alpena. 

Dist. Attorney — A. Converse, of Anina. 

Probate Judge — J. R. Francis, of Wessington Springs. 

Assessor — Lsaac Byam, of Pleasant. 

Surveyor — ?>. R. Shimp, of Pleasant. 

Coroner — John .Steiner, of Blaine. 

Justices and constables were also named. 

For the first time the Democratic party organized and prepared for 
hard work. They felt sure of the support of that part of the Republicans 
who h^d been defeated at previous elections and especially of those who 
remembered the defeat of ^Ir. Converse for commissioner the year before. 
These dissatisfied Republicans now saw an opportunity to "get even" 
w'ith those who had controlled the party since its organization, and ac- 
cordingly a mass convention was held on Oct. 24th. A new ticket made 
up of Republicans and Democrats was put in the field as follows : 

Register of Deeds — F. W. Whitney.. 

Treasurer — H. J. Wallace. 

Sheriff — J. M. Spears. 

Dist. Attorney — A. Converse. 

Probate Judge — AI. C. Ayers, of Wessington Springs. 

Territorial Council — Air. Lowry. 

Territorial Assembly — Anderson and Price. 

In the first commissioner district the Republicans nominated R. J. 
Eastman, of Alpena, and the Democrats, Knute S. Starkey, of Franklin. 

The young voters of this, and future generations, will hardly credit 
the story of how their fathers carried elections. The method of holding 
caucuses adopted in Jerauld county in 1888 was a great improvement 
over prior methods. In former years a candidate would get enough of 
his supporters together to hold a caucus, and be prompt at the time ?nd 
place mentioned in the "call."" If an opposing candidate for the party 
nomination was present with his supporters, it then became a matter of 
majority, or possibly of parliamentary tactics. If the opposition was a 
few minutes late in reaching the place of holding the caucus, they were 
liable to find all the work done, the delegates elected and the caucus ad- 
journed. The writer has known instances where the whole work of 
"expressing the will of the people," in a populous precinct was done by a: 


half-dozen men in three minutes. So the plan of holding the caucus open 
for two hours as adopted in 1888 was looked upon with much favor. But 
in all other respects the campaign was in accordance with "time honored 

During the last two weeks of the campaign business w^as almost at a 
stand-still. Every man was a politician. Day and night the contest raged. 
The farmer was called from his bed at midnight for a few hurried words 
and the messenger sped on in the darkness, to be followed by other mes- 
sengers from the opposition before morning. Tickets were printed with 
a party name at the head but possibly containing the names of all the 
opposing candidates. In many instances tickets with "stickers" pasted on 
were distributed by men stationed at the polls for that purpose. The 
"sticker" was a narrow strip of gummed paper upon which was printed 
the name of a candidate. These strips were intended to be put on the 
tickets of the opposite party over the name of the opposing candidates. 
During the two weeks before the election the newspapers of the county 
advertised "stickers for sale at reasonable prices." Heated political dis- 
cussions, in which the matter in dispute, was the merits of a party or a 
candidate were engaged in at the polling places and participated in by 
the judges of election and as many of the bystanders as cared to take a 

The election occurred on the 6th day of November and the Repub- 
licans sustained a defeat from which they did not recover for several 

The ticket elected was as follows : 

Register of Deeds — F. W. Whitney. 

Treasurer— H. J. Wallace. 

Dist. Attorney — A. Converse. 

Sheriff— Pat McDonald. 

Assessor — C. S. Richardson. 

Probate Judge — J. R. Francis. 

Surveyor — J. M. Corbin. 

Coroner — A. JNI. Mathias. 

Commissioner — R. J. Eastman. 

The Republicans elected the Justices of the peace and constables, and 
the legislative ticket. 

The last notable event of 1888 was a spirited game of base ball at 
Wessington Springs on Xmas Day. 

Meanwhile the little band of temperance workers in the county kept 
a watchful eye upon political affairs and prepared for the statehood cam- 
]iaign that everybody knew would soon come. 


The Sunday school convention for the county was held on the 14th 
and 15th of ]May. 

August 3rd a W. C. T. U. society was organized at Alpena with Mrs. 
J. R. Milliken, Mrs. R. Davenport, Mrs. F. W. Whitney, Mrs. Wm. Arne, 
Mrs. C. D. Woriall, Mrs. Daniel Kint, Mrs. Underwood and Miss Lizzie 
Crawford as charter members. 

Chapter 28. 

Early in January, 1889, B. B. Blosser, editor and publisher of the 
True Republican began planning for a spelling contest to be participated 
in by all the public schools of the county, the prize to be a set of Alden's 
Encyclopedia for the winning school. A committee of arragenment was 
appointed composed of Mrs. N. J. Dunham, Mrs. C. V. Martin, Miss 
Kate McLean, B. R. Shimp, J. F. Wicks, N. E. Williams, and E. C. 
Nordyke, with B. B. Blosser and Supt. Binford. 

The interest of the schools at once became great. Each township could 
be represented by a class of four students made up from all the schools 
of the township, the classes to be selected at township contests to be held 
on the 2ncl day of March. The township contests were conducted by 
educators from outside the township. The appointments were as fol- 
lows : 

Alpena — F. B. Phillips, of Dale. 

Dale — ]\Irs. N. J. Dunham, of Alpena. 

Chery — E. F. Harmston, of Dale. 

Harmony — B. R. Shimp, of Pleasant. 

Marlar^Mrs. C. V. Martin, of Crow. 

Pleasant — F. K. Luke, of Pleasant. 

Media — N. E. Williams, of Anina. 

Wessington Springs — E. C. Nordyke, of Wessington Springs. 

Franklin — J. F. Wicks, of Logan. 

Blaine — Jesse ]\Iorse, of Viola. 

Anina — ^vliss Ida Nesmith, of Viola. 

Crow Lake — Supt. Binford, of Pleasant. 

Logan — ]\Irs. E. G. Will, of Logan. 

The county contest occurred on the 9th day of March and was parti- 
cipated in by twelve townships represented by the following classes : 

Alpena — Abbie Whitney, James Worrall, R. W. Tennery and Edgar 


Dale — James Tracy. Daniel Tracy. Lora Gregory and Rosa Youngs. 

Chery — Grace Lanning, Clarence Lanning, Mary jMiller, and Charles 

Harmony — Anna Titus, Ernest Huntley, Rena Butterfield and Charles 

Marlar — Rebecca Ruan, Laura Ruan, Grace Ruan and Cora Corbin. 

Pleasant — Sarah Elmore, Mabel Holdridge, Mary Marlenee and RoUa 

Media — Manly Voorhees, Clara Voorhees, Harry Young and Louis 

Wessington Springs — Edward K. Starkey, Paulina Mihawk, Sever 
Starkey and Abe Divick. 

Franklin— W. N. Zink, H. E. Whiffin, Mata McCaul and Ira Posey. 

Viola — Howard Phillips, Susie Phillips, Wesley Paganhart and Myr- 
tle Moss. 

Anina — Geo. Stevens, Tommy Day, Harry Nelson and Samuel Nelson. 

Logan — Lewis Pfaff, J. J. Riegal, Lewis H. Waterbury and Anna 

Forty-eight in all. 

Blaine, Crow and Crow Lake townships were not represented. 

Supt. Binford pronounced lOO words from the first fifty pages of Mc- 
Gufifey's Speller. The words were written by the contestants, with the 
following results in words missed : 

Alpena 2, Anina 3, Franklin 4, Harmony 9, Pleasant 11, Logan 16, 
Viola 25, Dale 40, Marlar 40, Media 47, Chery 69, and Wessington 
Springs 75. 

Alpena had won the prize. 

In an oral contest that followed the prize was won by Miss Anna 
Hannebuth, of Logan township. 

On April 2nd prairie fires raged in all parts of the territory, accom- 
panied by an electric wind storm of great violence. The loss in Jerauld 
county was estimated at $100,000. Particulars will be given more fully 
in a chapter to be devoted to prairie fires. 

In business matters but few changes were made during the year and 
but few new enterprises started. 

The territorial farmers Alliance established a warehouse at Wessing- 
ton Springs to handle farm supplies. This institution began doing busi- 
ness in February, with W. N. Hill as manager. 

In the same month Mr. L. G. Wilson, of Viola township called the 
attention of the farmers to the large number of silk cocoons that were 
hanging from the branches of small trees throughout the county and re- 
quested, through the newspapers, that a quantity be gathered and brorght 


to him, at Wessington Springs. A barrel of them was soon at his dis- 
posal and he shipped them to Paris to be tested as to their value. They 
were found to be of good quality, but could never afterward be found in 
sufficient quantities to pay for the work of gathering them. 

On October ist G. N. Price took charge of the Wessington Springs- 
Waterbury stage line, which gave him control of all the mail routes of 
the county. 

In January, 1889, Ed Hinchliff opened a meat market in Alpena and 
continued the business until the following July. 

In Alarch Ray Barber sold the hardware business in Alpena to Grant 
McLean, who continued it about a year and then sold to F. B. Phillips. 
In 1894 Phillips sold the business to D. H. Wood. In June, 1900, he sold 
to Grant Anderson, who is still in charge. 

In the forepart of January, 1889, Isaac Pearce succeeded F. W. \\ hit- 
ney in the Alpena post office. 

During the same month Roth Bros, opened The Security Bank in 
their store at Alpena. 

In jNIarch following W. F. Cass started an art studio in Alpena. 

The latter part of July D. F. Royer repurchased the Journal from 
Lacy F. Schaefer. 

At Waterbury no changes of importance occurred in 1889 until the 
forepart of November, when C. M. Hopkins rented his hotel to Wm. 

J. H. Vessey moved from Crow Lake to Wessington Springs about 
the middle of January, 1889, and the next month bought the mercantile 
business of Albert & Vessey. 

In February, 1889, Mrs. Albert Gunderson opened an abstract office 
in the rear room of the old Herald building. 

R. S. Vessey and C. E. Nordyke formed a partnership to do real 
estate business at Wessington Springs and opened their office in the 
building erected by W. J. Williams on the lot owned by H. Bakewell. of 
Plankinton. The partnership continued until Oct. ist. 

D. W. Clink and F. G. Vessey closed up their farm implement busi- 
ness in March, leaving the field open to the Farmers' Aliance Co. 

A restaurant was opened by Mrs. Francis Smith in the forepart of 
April, in a building put up by Dr. Turner on a lot west of Thayer's bank. 

One of the buildings erected in Wessington Springs in 1889. was a 
stone bath house in July, by A. C. Thompson, on the east side of the 
creek opposite his barn. The barn is now owned by Mrs. Eva Whitney, 
but the bath house soon fell to ruins. 


Charles E. Thayer, who in five years had amassed a fortune in the 
banking business in Wessington Springs, sold his institution to Charles 
W. Lane, who took charge of the bank Oct. ist, 1889. 

About the middle of November, 1889, Wm. Skinner and C. W. Pet- 
tis started a meat market on the south side of Main street, near where 
Shull's Drug Store now stands. 

In religious matters the only events of importance in the county in 
1889 were the first Free Methodist camp meeting, which began June 12th 
and lasted one week, in the grove by the big spring, and the county Sun- 
day School convention which was held May 23rd. 

At Crow Lake Mrs. Allyn's vacant store building was used during 
the summer for church and Sunday school purposes. 

On May 15th, 1889, an Epworth League was organized in connection 
with the M. E. church at Wessington Springs. 

Along educational lines the most important event of the year was the 
organization of a lecture association by R. S. Vessey, G. R. Bateman and 
Prof. J. K. Freeland. Mr. Vessey was made the president of the society 
and Mr. Freeland secretary. The society is still alive. Ehiring the years 
of its existence it has brought to the county literary men, lecturers and 
statesmen of world wide reputation. Among them have been Joseph 
Cook, the eminent Boston divine, Roswell G. Horr, Michigan's greatest 
congressman, Joseph Littell, Col. Sanford, Maj. Copeland; besides many 
other scientists and scholars from all parts of the nation. 

In July, 1889, Dr. C. S. Burr, of the Wessington Springs Townsite 
Company donated to the Seminary ten lots in the town. A few days 
later Samuel Marlenee was employed to build the superstructure on the 
walls of the Seminary, and the work was done in August of that year, the 
building being veneered with brick. It was in the chapel room of the 
new building that the entertainments provided by the lecture course were 

Another educational enterprise led by the Pioneer W. C. T. L'. was 
a series of meetings held in every township in the county to study the 
proposed Sioux Falls constitution for the new state. 

The fourth annual teachers' institute was held Oct. 28th to Nov. 8th 
inclusive, with Prof. Enos as conductor. 

In the line of amusements in 1889, one of the notable events was a 
sham inaugural in Odd Fellows Hall at Alpena, which was attended by 
fun-loving people from Woonsocket, Wessington Springs and all parts 
of the county. 

On what was then known as the White tree claim, adjoining Alpena 
on the south, was established a race track in the summer of 1889. Ray 
Barber was secretarv of the association. All the records of this society 


were destroyed in a fire that occurred in the Journal office a few years 

The crop prospects in 1889 were good until the 13th of June, when 
the whole country was visited by a destructive hot wind that blew from 
the southwest several days. Added to this was the decline in the market 
price of all kinds of farm products. In September the Chicago price of 
wheat was 80 cents per bushel; corn, 32c; oats, 19c; butter, 12c per lb.; 
eggs, 17c per doezn. In Sioux city hogs were sold at $3.82 per cwt., 
fat cattle $2,65 to $2.75, stockers $1.85 to $2.35. 

And people w^ere paying from three to seven per cent a month on 
notes secured by chattel mortgages. 

Chapter 29. 

The proceedings of the county commissioners in the year 1889 con- 
tains but little of interest. 

R. J. Eastman became a member of the board on January 7th and 
Mr. Sickler was made chairman. 

On the same day F. W. Whitney took possession of the office of reg- 
ister of deeds, and two days later the official bond of Pat McDonald as 
sherifif was approved. 

On February 5th a resolution was adopted by the board fixing the 
price of auctioneers' license at $10 per year. 

As a result of the prairie fires that had devestated the county on April 
2nd, the county board on April 15th resolved to furnish lumber to the 
amount of 1,000 feet to people who had suffered loss by fire and 25 
bushels of seed grain to those who could not procure it otherwise. 

On May 21st the board decided to abandon the section line road be- 
tween sections 24 and 25 in Franklin township and for $75 purchased of 
Mr. McDowall a right of way over his land through what is known as 
"the pony hills." 

The treasurer's report, made the forepart of July, 1889, showed that 
during the year ending June 30th the county had paid for pauper support 
$96.20, and for temporary relief of the poor $193.64. 

The county tax levy made Sept. 2nd was, county general fund, 6 mills ; 
sinking fund, 3 mills ; road and bridge, i mill. The territorial levy was, 
general fund, t,.S mills; bond interest, l/o mill; and stock indemnity, 
1/2 mill. 


The act known as the Omnibus Bill, which enabled South Dakota to 
prepare for statehood passed congress on the 14th day of February. 1889, 
and on the 22nd was approved and signed by President Cleveland. That 
year became an era of conventions. Politics of many different brands 
became the pastime of "all sorts and conditions of men." 

A convention at Wessington Springs, January 12th, elected E. V. 
Miles, C. H. Stephens, J. M. Spears and R. W. Probert delegates to a 
statehood convention to be held at Huron on the i6th. 

A mass temperance convention was held at the county seat on March 
28th to prepare for the statehood campaign which was now on. 

Jerauld, Buffalo and Hand counties were made the nth district for 
representation in the constitutional convention which had been called to 
meet in Sioux Falls on July 4th, 1889. and were entitled to two delegates, 
to be elected on the 14th of May. 

The Republican district convention to nominate a delegate to the con- 
stitutional convention was called to meet at St. Lawrence, in Hand county 
on May 7th. 

The republican county convention to send delegates to the St. Law- 
rence convention was held at Wessington Springs, May 4th, and S. F. 
Huntley, of Harmony township received an indorsement for the position 
of delegate to the Sioux Falls convention. The convention voted that he 
should select his own delegates, and he named T. L. Blank, E. V. Miles, 
J. F. Wicks, E. S. Waterbury, A. L Churchill and O. G. ^loodruff. and 
C. G. Hartley, of Hand county. 

Mr. Huntley and C. G. Hartley, of Hand county, were nominated at 
the St. Lawrence convention and at the election Alay 14th they were 
elected delegates to the state constitutional convention. 

The opposing Democratic candidates were Jeft'erson Sickler, of Har- 
niony township, and Mr. Anderson, of Hand county. There are no rec- 
ords of the conventions at which these gentlemen were nominated. 

No change was made in the election precincts for the May election, 
but for that to be held on Oct. ist each township was made a precinct b}' 
itself, and that rule has been followed ever since. 

In the constitutional convention Mr. Huntley was a member of the 
apportionment committee and chairman of the committee on expenses of 
the convention. On his recommendation Jerauld and Buft'alo counties 
were made one senatorial district. 

On July 20th the Republican county committee called two county con- 
ventions — one for Aug. 17th to select four delegates to the state conven- 
tion to be held at Huron and four delegates to the judicial convention to 
be held at Mitchell, the other to be held Sept. 7th to put in noiuination 
a county ticket and select delegates to the disrict legislative convention. 


On July 26th R. S. Vessey announced his candidacy for the legisla- 
ture on the Republican ticket. 

At the convention held Aug". 17th I. N. Rich was chairman and E. 
F. Harmston secretary. Delegates were selected to both the state and 
judicial conventions, those to the latter being instructed to support the 
■candidacy of A. Converse for Judge of the circuit court. 

A mass convention was held Aug. 19th to discuss plans for getting 
aid in the county for the construction on the Huron, Chamberlain & Black 
Hills railroad. It was decided to ask the townships through which it was 
proposed to build the road to vote a tax. Accordingly a petition from 
Dale, Wessington Springs, Media, Crow Lake and Logan townships was 
laid before the county commissioners on Sept. 12th asking that the mat- 
ter of voting a tax in aid of the road be submitted to the people of those 
townships at an early date. The board granted the request and called the 
election for Oct. ist, the day set for the statehood election. The pro- 
moters of the project at once put in the field a party of surveyors, con- 
sisting of: 

E. F. Harmston, chief engineer; T. L. Blank, transit man; A. H. West, 
leveler; J. A. Calhoun, topographer: W. W. Hillis, rodman ; Chas. Has- 
kins, head chain ; Thos. Day, hind chain ; C. Thompson, axman ; Chas. 
Whiffin, back flag; J. J. Doctor, cook; and M. E. Harmstan, teamster. 

At the election the tax was voted down in all the townships but Dale. 

On the same day a meeting was held to take measures to put Wessing- 
ton Springs in the race for state capitol. Five thousand acres of land 
were pledged, and C. E. Thayer elected a delegate to meet representatives 
of other cities at Aberdeen. That was the end of it. 

At the Republican convention on Sept. 7th S. F. Huntley was in- 
dorsed for state senator, by acclamation. On the 36th formal ballot V. 
L Converse was nominated for the legislature. A. L Churchill was made 
the nominee for county Judge. 

The Republican district senatorial convention was held in the Hop- 
kins house at Waterbury on Sept. 12th and Mr. Huntley was nominated 

Two days previously. Sept. 10, the Democrats had held a county con- 
vention at Wessington Springs at which Jefferson Sickler, of Harmony 
township, was nominated for the legislature and J. R. Francis for county 
judge. No candidate for state senator was named. 

At a meeting of the county commissioners on July 13th the county 
Avas redistricted for the election of members of the board, as follows: 

1st District — Alpena, Franklin, Blaine and Dale. 

2nd District — Chery, Wessington Springs, Viola, Anina and Media. 

3rd District — The west six townships. 

A convention for the nomination of a commissioner for the 3rd dis- 


Irict was held at Waterbury Sept. 21st and Mr. Henry Herring of Crow 
township made the nominee. 

As in all former elections, the W. C. T. U. organizations of the county 
kept careful watch over the temperance sentiment. The constitutional 
convention had submitted to the people of the new state the matter of 
voting prohibition into the constitution. At the head of the county organ- 
ization was Mrs. E. V. Miles, of Wessington Springs township, a lady 
of strong executive ability, and with her were Mrs. Nettie C. Hall, Mrs. 
J. M. Spears, Mrs. T. L. Blank, Mrs. F. T. Tofflemier, and several others, 
all determined, earnest women, who knew no such thing as fatigue in 
their efforts to hold Jerauld county in the temperance column. But be- 
hind them all, guiding, counseling, working, was Mrs. A. B. Smart, the 
founder of the Pioneer W. C. T. U. 

Old Unions were reorganized and other temperance societies formed. 
Meetings were held everywhere that an audience could be gathered. 

At Alpena a lodge of I. O. G. T. was formed May 3rd with John 
Teasdale, chief templar, Mrs. N. J. Dunham, vice-templar, Rev. H. H. 
Underwood, chaplain, L. F. Schaefer, recording secretary, Ray Barber, 
financial secretary, Maggie Worrall, treasurer. The lodge had 21 mem- 

Deraorest Medal contests were held at which children spoke temper- 
ance pieces. 

The election occured on the first day of October, with the following- 
results : 

For the Constitution, 895. 

Against the Consitution, 17. 

For Prohibition, 598. 

Against Prohibition, 315. 

For Minority representation, 282. 

Against Minority representation, 586. 

Mitchell for capital, 54. 

Huron for capital, 290. 

Pierre for capital, 588. 

Sioux Falls for capital, . 

Watertown for capital, 3. 

Wessington Springs for capital. 2. 

Chamberlain for capital, 5. 

State Senator — S. F. Huntley. 785. 

Representative — V. I. Converse, 500; J. Sickler, 427. 
. County Judge — A. I. Churchill. 

County Commissioner — H. Herring. 

On Nov. 2nd, 1889, at 3:40 p. m. at the city of Washington, Presi- 
dent Harrison attached his name to the proclamation declaring South 
Dakota a member of the Union of States. 



Chapter I. 

The first event in the county, after statehood, was a farmers institute 
on Nov. 4th, 1889, held under the auspices of the farmers' alliance. 

On Nov. nth N. J. Dunhani was appointed clerk of courts for Jer- 
auld county. 

At the instance of Commissioner Sickler the board on the 30th of 
November, vacated the highway on the section line between sections 4 
and 5 in Harmony township. 


Those who have followed this history so far will have noticed that 
the people who took the lead in pushing agricultural civilization out into 
the great plains of the northwest had prospered in five years as much as 
those who settled Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska and the other states 
farther east, had in twenty. The railroads in advance of the settlers had 
relieved the settlers of Dakota of many of the hardships that had been 
endured by the pioneers of the other states. The one natural hardship 
was the want of fuel. But the prairies were covered with grass, and this 
cut, dried and twisted made a fuel that would keep people as warm here 
as it did the pioneers in Iowa or Kansas. In all other respects the Da- 
kota settler had conditions far more comfortable. Their homes were 
Avarm ; markets nearer ; schools in every township, as many as were 
needed; and the people had plenty to eat and to wear. Less than $100 
had been spent by the county, in the year ending June 30th, 1889, in 
caring for the very poor, and but $193.64 had been required to afford 
temporary relief to the sufferers from the cyclone of fire that swept the 
county April 2nd. The climate was dry and healthy and sickness rare. 
A more contented people never dwelt in a new country than inhabited 
the Dakota prairies during the 80s. 

On the nth of November the county commissioners asked the C. M. 
& St. P. Ry. Co. to rebate the freight on coal brought by that line to 


deserving and needy settlers. Not a single person entered his nan:e in 
that class. 

About the same time a news item was going the rounds of the Euro- 
pean press and being copied in the papers of the eastern "^tates, which 
read as follows : 

"Threatened Famine in Dakota." 
"The failure of the harvest in Dakota is complete. A special telec;rani 
reports 20,000 persons are in danger of starvation. The St. Paul Cham- 
ber of Commerce is organizing for relief. A committee of examination 
reports that the distress is appalling. No food is to be obtained at any 
price, and no money wherewith to purchase, if there were any." 

Yet, the statistics for that year (18S9) are as folows: 

Acreage. Yield in bu. 

Wheat 4,609,717 44.009.092 

Oats 1,122,402 21,369.708 

Corn 814,677 22,832.073 

Barley 255,969 4.455.777 

Rye 17.754 301-107 

Potatoes 45.656 4,038.262 

Flax 403.314 3,288.115 

The True Republican commenting on the above item said under date 
of Nov. 29th, 1889: 

"It is false. Let us unite in refuting it. Write to your friends and 
give them the situation as it is. The truth will not harm us, but these 
exaggerated reports are doing incalculable injury." 

During several weeks prior to the appearance of the above iten:s in 
the local paper, Roth Bros., local merchants, had been advertising in the 
same journal the following household supplies for sale: 

12 lbs. granulated sugar, $1.00. 

22 lbs. prunes, $1.00. 

17 lbs. evaporated apples, $1.00. 

20 lbs. choice white fish, $1.00. 

32 bars good soap, $1.00. 

1 sack Raker's fiour, $1.05. 

10 lbs. choice bacon, $1.00. 

12 lbs. sugar cured shoulders, $1.00. 

16 yards good shirting, $1.00. 

On December 4th occurred an event that changed materially the con- 
dition of affairs in Jerauld county, just as similar events changed ccrdi- 
tions in other counties of the state. 


On the afternoon of that day Gov. A. C. Mellette accompanied by Mr. 
Doane Robinson, present state historian, arrived in Wessington Springs, 
after a drive through Franklin, Blaine and Viola townships. These gentle- 
men were unaccustomed to life on a claim in the true sense of the term. 
The smell of hay fuel was to them extremely offensive. In fact, hay 
burned as fuel in South Dakota created just as great a stink as did that 
in Iowa and Kansas. There was nothing poisonous about it and people 
using it did not notice the offensive odor. But to the -governor it seemed 
nothing less than horrible. In homes where the settler burned other fuel 
common at that time the condition did not seem so bad — to the nose — 
but was more shocking to the eye. 

Immediately after his arrival in town the governor asked for a meet- 
ing with the leading citizens. In the evening all who had heard of the 
request assembled in the office of the register of deeds at the court house. 

All were surprised and astonished at the governor's tale of destitu- 
tion, but when, on closer questioning it was found that the principal need 
was better fuel, and that coal could be obtained without freight charges, 
it was concluded to organize and see what was needed and what could 
be done. A county relief committee was formed with A M. Mathias, 
chairman; C. W. McDonald, secretary; and Mrs. J. M. Spears, treasurer. 
The township committee was : 

Alpena — Mrs. J. R. Milliken. 

Dale— O. G. Woodruff. 

Chery— C. W. Hill. 

Harmony — I. N. Rich. 

Marlar — Wm. Orr. 

Franklin — Mrs. J. W. Harden. 

Wessington Springs — Mrs. J. M. Spears. 

Media — Chas. Hanson. 

Pleasant — J. E. Sullivan. 

Crow — E. S. Waterbury. 

Blaine— C. C. Wright. 

Viola— J. N. Smith. 

Anina — V. I. Converse. 

Crow Lake — S. H. Melcher. 

Logan— H. A. Frick. 

This committee at once made a thorough canvas of the whole county 
and found no destitution and but few who cared to accept the coal. In 
all of the county only 94 tons of coal were requested. The county com- 
missioners then asked the C. M. & St. P. Ry. to ship in two hundred tons 
of coal free for the people of Jerauld county, but the company refused. 


saying- they could not afford to carry any more coal to Dakota free of 

And so the year 1889 drew on to its close, a few politicians and mis- 
guided philantropists soliciting charity that was not needed, and the 
people getting along very comfortably, still burning such fuel as the 
prairies afforded. There was no suffering. 

While the events above mentioned were occurring in official and 
philanthropic circles a Dale township farmer, of German birth, was 
busy doing a work that was of more beneficial influence to Jerauld county 
and the James River Valley, than anything done by all the politicians 
of the state. Daniel Schmidt was risking his all in putting down the 
first artesian well in the county. The well was completed in the latter 
part of December, and a flow of fifty-two gallons a minute secured. 

A mile north of Schmidt's farm John Teasdale had erected a feed mill 
for grinding feed, corn meal and Graham flour, and there many of the 
settlers had their grists of corn and wheat ground. 

On the northwest quarter of section 29, in Media twsp. Wm. Brodkorb 
began grinding grain for the people of that vicinity and continued the 
work for several years. In 1892 Mr. Brodkorb ground over 3.000 
bushels. The nearest flouring mill was at Woonsocket, 27 miles away. 

In the latter part of December, 1889, Blank & Blank purchased the 
Waterbury Messenger of O. P. Hull and united it with their Herald office 
at Wessington Springs. 

On Christmas eve, festivities at the Grieve school house, in Harmony 
township, attracted a good attendance, and the next evening a dance at 
the court house hall in Wessington Springs was attended by 50 couples. 

Chapter 2. 

It is an old and true saying that a well man can be made ill unto 
death by being constantly told that he is sick. 

The treasurer's report made to the county commissioners during the 
second week in January, 1890, showed that the amount expended by the 
county for relief of the poor between the first day of October, and the 
31st day of December, 1889, had been but eight dollars, — less than had 
been expended in the same length of time during all the previous his- 
tory of the county. 

The committee appointed at the time of the visit of Gov. iMellette, 
Dec. 4th, 1889, had been met with a general denial of the need of charity. 


In many instances the committee actually became solicitors, begging peo- 
ple who were abundantly able to care for themselves to accept of the 
proffered aid. Up to the first of February not a pound of donated stuff 
had reached Jerauld county from outside its borders. In the forepart 
of January a mercantile firm at Wessington Springs had donated lOO 
sacks of flour to the relief committee for distribution. By the 20th of 
February only 30 of them had been taken. 

In February it had become generally known that Gov. Mellette had 
gone east to solicit aid for the needy people of the state. Hard times 
became the general topic of conversation, and the people of Marlar town- 
ship appointed a committee of four to go east and solicit aid for their 
community. The committee was composed of J. C. Longland, Wm. Orr, 
Wm. Rainy, and Mrs. Tillman Hunt. In February four carloads of feed, 
fuel and provisions had arrived at St. Lawrence for that township, and 
later another carload was received. Then people began to go out on 
their own behalf. In one township three farmers made up a purse of 
one hundred dollars and sent one of their number to Iowa to solicit aid 
which was divided among those three. 

Through the urging of the committe three hundred families had ap- 
plied for aid in one form or another, by the first of March. It was a 
matter of common knowledge that not to exceed fifty of these families 
were in need of help and they the county was abundantly able to care for. 

In March supplies began to arrive in large quantities and by the ist 
of April the county jail was filled with the stores sent by the benevolent 
people of Iowa, who had read the exaggerated stories of the needs of 
the people. 

Gov. Mellette returned from his eastern trip the forepart of March, 
in time to attend the G. A. R. encampment at Sioux Falls. There he met 
Gen. Alger, of Michigan, who had promised to give $500, if he found, 
on personal investigation, that -the reported destitution actually existed. 
Before leaving the state he refused to make the donation, declaring that 
the conditions did not justify it. United States Senator Pettigrew de- 
nounced the expedition of the governor, in unmeasured terms, as un- 
called for and unwise. Many others endeavored to correct the impres- 
sion that had gone abroad that the Dakotas were indeed a pa:rt of the 
great American Desert. 

In February, 1890, the Sioux City Journal, speaking of the reported 
conditions in South Dakota, said: "South Dakota has made incompar- 
ably more rapid progress during the past ten years as a territory than 
Iowa did during the first ten years of its history as a state. The people 
of South Dakota have not suft'ered more from storms, drought and failure 
of crops than the people of Iowa did at the corresponding period of their 


history — not nearly so much. The people of South Dakota have ac- 
cumulated more wealth and at a vastly more rapid rate than did the 
people of Iowa during the early stages of their settlement. The people 
of South Dakota have actually taken more value out of their soil than 
the people of Iowa were able to do. 

It is doubtless true that many have gone to South Dakota who went 
unwisely, who might have done better elsewhere and who ought never to 
have tried their fortunes in the new northwest. Precisely the same thing 
happened in Iowa. Improvident, thriftless, weak, or otherwise unquali- 
fied men always rush off to new regions and when they fail, they return 
to curse the country for their own fault. Iowa would never have pros- 
pered if it had been judged by this standard. And it is no more true as 
applied to South Dakota now than it would have been as applied to 
Iowa then." 

Albeit the state of South Dakota had produced more wealth per 
capita than any other state in the union in 1889 as shown by the official 
report, yet the story of starvation spread. In January the Bankers Asso- 
ciation, in session at Huron, voted to raise $10,000 for the needy of the 
state, but continued the rate of interest at from .3 to 10 per cent a month. 

Of the great cjuantity of donated clothing sent to Jerauld county dur- 
ing February and March, 1890, many packages were never used, but 
years afterwards were thrown out upon the prairie. 

In February the attention of the County Commissioners was called 
to the necessity for seed grain. Each member was made a committee to 
investigate the matter in the district in which he lived. At the meeting 
March 5th the board resolved to furnish seed grain to those, who w^ere 
actually destitute and had no available means to obtain the same ; the 
amount to be furnished not to exceed 30 bushels of wheat. 30 bushels of 
oats and four bushels of corn to any one person. 

After this order was made many who had seed to sell refused to sell 
except to the county. Thus many were forced to apply to the county 
for seed who would otherwise have been able to obtain it on their own 
security. The result was that by the middle of April the county board 
had issued warrants for seed grain to the amount of $2,313.27, nearly 
all of which was furnished by Jerauld county farmers. Each person who 
obtained seed from the county gave his note with one other person as 
securtity, payable Oct. ist. Every note was paid before the county re- 
deemed the warrants. 

Gov. Mellette received contributions to the amount of $35,666.46. 
Out of this Jerauld county received five carloads of corn for feed and 
$335.35 in money, April 20th. 

Aside from the talk of hard times as already related affairs in the 
county went on about as susual. 


On January 6th Henry Herring qualified as a member of the board, 
and John Grant was made chairman. 

Sept. 1st the board levied the tax for 1890, at 6 mils for the county 
general fund, i mill for the sinking fund and 2 mills for the bridge fund. 
The state tax that year was 2 mills for general fund and four-tenths of a 
mill for the bond interest fund. 

About the middle of November, Henry Herring resigned his position 
as county commissioner and with his family removed to the new state 
of Washington. 

The C. M. & St. P. Ry. tax for 1889 amounted to $132.44, of which 
the first half was paid in ]\Iarch, 1890. 

The county spelling contest was held March 8th and was won by 
Harmony township with a class composed of the following pupils : Mary 
Huntley ,Rena Butterfield, Anna Titus and H. L. Pfaff. The oral con- 
test was won by ]\Iay Hobert of Pleasant township. 

The county Sunday School convention was held Sept. 3rd. 

The teachers' institute for the county was held Sept. 22nd with Prof. 
Clark !M. Young, of Tyndall, conductor, and S. F. Huntley, assistant. 

The lecture course which had been planned during the latter part of 
1889, opened on the 27th of January with a lecture by Col. Copeland, 
subject, "Snobs and Snobbery."' The last of the five lectures in the course 
was on ^^farch 7th. These lectures were attended by large audiences com- 
posed mainly of farmers and their families, some of whom came 20 miles, 
driving home in the night after the entertainment. 

On April 4th the ladies of the 'M. E. Church at Wessington Springs 
disbanded their missionary society and reorganized under the name of 
The M. E. Ladies' Aid Society, with Mrs. E. J. Campbell, Prest. ; Mrs. 
Elizabeth Tofflemier, Vice Prest. ; Mrs. L. A. Stephens, Secretary ; and 
Mrs. Emma Chapman, Treasurer. 

At the instance of 'Mr. Blosser, of the True Republican, a horse show 
was held at Wessington Springs, May 3rd at which 1 1 fine stallions were 
exhibited. The sweepstake rosette was awarded to F. S. Coggshall's 
imported English shire, "J. B. Sensation." 

Some farmers of Dale and Wessington Springs townships organized 
a company ]\Iarch 22nd to buy a thorobred stallion. S. H. Albert and 
L. F. Russell were commissioned to buy the animal. They visited several 
points in Iowa. ]\Iinnesota and South Dakota, and returned with a splendid 
Clydesdale horse named "Up to time." 

]\Iay 3rd a baseball club was organized at Wessington Springs for 
the season. Among the players were ]\I. ^f. Flint, Capt., Will and Al 


Zink, Jas. Osborne, F. G. Yessey, Nate Spears, Myron Pratt and K. W. 
Blanchard. A similar organization was perfected at Alpena and also at 
Waterbury. In the latter nine were Joe Collier, Capt., Oscar and John 
Hudson, Clell Titus, John Holzer, Tom Bishop, Herb Baker, Harry Rex 
and Geo. Backus. In the Alpena club were Sam H. iNIay, Jeff Hillis, 
Bert Manwaring, Fred Phillips, L. W. Castleman and enough more to 
fill out the nine. During the summer many hotly contested games were 
played, witnessed by crowds gathered from all parts of the county. At 
these contests hard times and all else but the sport of the day were for- 

On the 4th of July Wessington Springs celebrated. It seemed that 
every man, woman and child was present. Two great attractions were 
the ball game between Alpena and Wessington Springs clubs, and the 
beef killing by a band of Crow Creek Indians, although there was much 
favorable mention of a speech delivered by W. B. Sterling, of Huron. 

Great interest was manifested in the west part of the county in a 
series of Sunday school institutes held in Pleasant township. 

At Alpena the race track commenced the year before was completed 
and on the 23rd of July the first racing meet was held there. Horses 
were entered by Ray Barber, Owen Ferguson, John Chamberlain, besides 
many from other parts of the state. Centerville, Aberdeen, Groton. Mil- 
ler, Rhee Heights, Pierre, White Lake and Springfield were all repre- 
sented by horses at the Alpena races in 1890. 

Chapter 3. 

While the market prices in 1890 were a little better than in the pre- 
ceding year, yet they were so low as to materially eft'ect activity in busi- 
ness matters. In Sioux City hogs were S3.62, cattle (stockers), $2.65 
to $3.15. In Chicago the price of wheat was $1.00, oats 48c, corn 50c, 
butter 9c to i/C, and eggs i6c. 

In February Mr. Herring, a merchant at Waterbury took to \\'oon- 
socket 4000 pounds of dairy butter that he had taken in at his store. 

April 1st O. P. Hull, a merchant of Waterbury, closed a deal by 
which he became proprietor of the Roth Bros, store at W^essington 
Springs. As a result of this move Mr. Louis Roth took charge of the 
store at Alpena, and Theo. Roth opened a store at West Superior, Wis. 

In September F. B. Phillips purchased a half interest in Grant Mc- 
Lean's hardware store at Alpena. 


Jefferson Sickler. 

C. W. England. 

F. T. Tofflemier. 

Mrs. F. T. Tofflemier. 

Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Edd\. 

IVm. Webber. D. F. Moulton. IV. F. Yegge. J, N. Smith. 


July ist G. N. Price retired from all the mail routes in Jerauld county 
and a change was made in driver on nearly all the lines. H. D. Howell 
of Woonsocket, took the Woonsocket line. George A'anous, the Crow 
Lake Line, David Glen the Waterbury line, while E. U. Cummings took 
the lines from Miller to Mt. Vernon. 

In June 1890 the county was again visited by hot winds and crops 
of small grain badly damaged. The hot winds are often confused with 
the idea of a drouth, but in fact there was rain in both 1889 and 1890 
enough to have matured splendid crops. The damage was owing by a 
few days of hot wind each year, just at the time when the gram was 

The Woodburn building in Wessington Springs, which was built 
where the First National Bank building now stands, was completed by 
the forepart of, July and Albert & Vessey took possession with their 
stock. This firm had purchased the mercantile stock of J. H. \'essey in 
the latter part of April. 

On April 23rd Hinds & Anderson of Woonsocket established a branch 
meat market in Wessington Springs, but a few weeks later sold the shop 
to F. E. Caldwell of Sioux Falls. 

Mrs. J. M. Spears began work on the addition. 20x46, to her hotel 
on March 28th, S. Marlenee doing the work. When the building was 
completed Mrs. Spears named the building "The \\'illard." and on the 
south side of the office she planted a rose bush which she named "The 
Willard Rose." Both the hotel and bush are still thriving. 

Morse & La Pont dissolved partnership March 22nd, ^^Ir. Morse con- 
tinuing the hardware business and La Pont retiring because of failing 

In April Mrs. Weddle opened a millinery shop on the south side of 
Main street, which she conducted during the summer. 

In March Wm. Kline began business as a blacksmith in what was 
known as the Woodburn shop and a few weeks later F. L. Wood moved 
to Wessington Springs from Crow Lake and began blacksmithing in a 
shop owned by E. L. Smith. 

In September another change was made in the old Roth I'ros. store, 
O. P. Hull selling the stock to George and E. E. Burger. 

For the convenience of themselves and the ])ublic Albert & \'essey put 
in a set of scales on the west side of the street oposite the Woodburn 
building. This was done in November. 

In the spring of 1890 a board of trade was organized in Wessington 
Springs that was of great benefit in keeping up the business interest of 
the village. The officers of this association were C. W. Lane. Pre^t. : 
y. LI. Woodburn. \'. Prest. : E. C. Nord\-ke. Sec. : R. S. \'essev, Treas. 


The executive committee were C. H. Stephens, A. M. Mathias, B. B. 
Blosser, W. N. Hill and P. R. Barrett . One of the first projects that 
engaged the attention of the board was the establishment of a creamery. 
On Dec. lo, 1890, arrangements were completed with Mr. J. C. Longland 
to open such an institution in the spring of 1891. 

On January 8th, 1890, Alpena petitioned the board of county commis- 
sioners for permission to incorporate. The petition was granted subject 
to an election to be held on the 29th of April. The territory to be em- 
braced within .the proposed incorporation is described as follows : Be- 
ginning at the southeast corner of Section 11 — 108 — 63, running thence 
north along the section line to the northeast corner of the SE quarter of 
Sec. 2, thence west to the northwest corner of the SE quarter of Sec. 3. 
thence south to the southwest corner of the SE quarter of Sec. 10, thence 
east to the place of beginning. At the election the people of the territory 
described voted to incorporate and at the election for municipal officers, 
Isaac Pearce, Richard Davenport, and L. X. Loomis were made village 
trustees, Ray Barber, clerk ; Davids Thumb, assessor ; D. S. IManwaring, 
treasurer; David Orwig, marshall ; and W. W. Huxtable, justice. 

In June 1890 the I. O. G. T. lodge of Alpena had nearly 100 mem- 
bers. C. D. Worral and W. W. Huxtable were sent as delegates to the 
grand lodge, which met at Aberdeen. At this meeting Air. Huxtable 
was made treasurer of the grand lodge of the state. 

As in all former years, so in 1890, politics became a matter of most 
absorbing interest. In Jerauld county the politicians were confronted 
with a condition that had never existed before. It was nothing less than 
a revolt of the farmers from the domination of the so-called "leaders" in 
politics. It is undoubtedly true, always, that in the game of politics hard 
times will find voters associating with strange playfellows. 

With the beginning of the year men prominent in the farmers' alliance 
began to reorganize the societies in all the counties of the state and mak- 
ing them secret organizations. 

A meeting of the state alliance about the middle of June had submitted 
to the various county alliances the question of joining in independent 
political action. The Jerauld county alliance at a meeting held June 
2 1 St decided to join the movement and a convention was called for Jul}- 
5th to elect three delegates to a state convention to be held July 9th in 
the city of Huron. At this county convention S. S. Vrooman, I. H. 
French and C. C. Wright were elected to attend the convention at Huron. 
It was also voted to put a full county ticket in the field. Every township 
in the county, except Dale, was represented with full delegations, and 
every member a farmer. A county committee composed of one commit- 
teeman from each township, was elected and instructed to call a county 


convention to be held before either of the old parties had nominated a 
county ticket. 

The township committeemen were as follows : 

Alpena, W. J. Winters; Anina, J. A. Swan; Blaine, C. W. Parker; 
Chery, W. Horsley ; Crow, Wm. Austin ; Crow Lake, David Moulton ; 
Dale, Andrew Mercer ; Franklin, A. J. Bevins ; Harmony, C. W. Mills ; 
Logan, H. A. Frick ; Alarlar, J. E. Marshall; Media, W. A. Flousel ; 
Pleasant, H. P. Faust; Viola, Chas. Walters; Wessington Springs, W. 
N. Hill. 

Mr. Hill was the only man on the committee who was not a farmer. 
He was elected chairman and called the committee together immediately 
after adjournment of the convention. They called a county nominating 
convention for Tuesday, July 15th, the caucuses to be held on Monday 
the 14th. 

At the convention on the 15th the Lidependents put in nomination the 
following ticket : 

Representative — \'. L Converse. 

Register of Deeds — F. W. Whitney. 

Auditor — O. J. Marshall. 

Treasurer — P. H. Shultz. 

Sheriff— Pat jMcDonald. 

County Judge — A. L Churchill. 

District Attorney — C. W. McDonald. 

Clerk of Courts — S. S. Vrooman. 

Supt. of Schools — Jennie Miles. 

Assessor — H. A. Frick. 

Surveyor — B. R. Shimp. 

Coroner — John Chapman. 

J. N. Smith, of Viola township was indorsed for the state senate. 

On July 19th the Republicans held their county convention and nom- 
inated the following candidates: 

Representative — John Teasdale. 
Register of Deeds — A. J. Miller. 
Auditor — A. Bywater. 
Treasurer — H. J. Wallace. 
County Judge — A. Converse. 
District Attorney — E. C. Nordyke. 
Sherifif— J. R. Eddy. 
Clerk of Courts — N. J. Dunham. 
Supt. of Schools — Geo. O. Williams. 


Assessor — D. B. Paddock. 

Surveyor — T. L. Blank. 

Coroner — A. AI. Mathias. 

S. F. Huntley was indorsed for the state senate. 

The Democrats held a county convention Sept. 4th and placed the 
following ticket in nomination: 

Representative — Jeff. Sickler. 

Register of Deeds — F. W. Whitney., 

Auditor — S. B. Shimp. 

Treasurer — H. J. Wallace. 

Sheriff — Pat McDonald. 

Judge — M. C. Ayers. 

Attorney — J. R. Francis. v 

Clerk of Courts — W. L. Arnold. 

Supt. of Schools — Mary A. Williams. 

Assessor — Fred Kater. 

Surveyor — B. R. Shimp. 

Coroner — E. L. Turner. 

At the district senatorial conventions, both of which were held at Wa- 
terbury, the Independents nominated J. N. Smith and the Republicans, 
S. F. Huntley. 

In the 2nd commissioner district the Independents nominated M. A. 
Schaefer and the Republicans renominated John Grant. 

All through the campaign the Independents showed the effects of 
superior organization. The Republicans could not overcome the results 
of the factional fighting of previous years. The Democrats made no 
efforts to carry their ticket. 

Equal suffrage was made an issue in the campaign but was not taken 
seriously by the voters generally. 

The election came on Nov. 4th and resulted in the overwhelming de- 
feat of the Republican ticket except as to treasurer, superintendent and 

The alliance had won in the political battle so far as several of the 
counties were concerned, but the Republicans had carried the state. 

The first term of Circuit court under statehood was held May 5, 1890, 
Hon. Dick Haney, judge. 

In the campaign of 1890 the contestants for the state capital were 
Pierre and Huron, the former carrying Jerauld county by a large maj- 
ority. During the summer Pierre had kept two squads of surveyors 
traversing the western part of the county and surveyed two lines from 
northwest to southeast, just as Huron the previous year had surveyed 
pretended railroad lines from northeast to southwest. 


Chapter 4. 

The' beginning of 1891 found a feeling of depression existing among 
all classes of people. The numerous expeditions in search of charity, in- 
dulged in by so many people had a demoralizing effect upon the public 
generally, and to this was added the effect of a second year of poor 
crops. The political campaign of 1890 had been fought upon the propo- 
sition that the people were the victims of great governmental wrongs, and 
from every school house and public hall they constantly heard how very 
poor they were. The result was a feeling of unrest. Many sold out and 
moved away, some moved away without selling. The places of those who 
left were in many instances, taken by others who came, some from Iowa, 
some from Illinois, while many of those who left the county in 1891 re- 
turned in that or succeeding years to rent the former home or other land 
near by. Among those who came while the old settlers were leaving were 
Wm. Webber, who bought land in Viola township, Lewis Haskins, who 
purchased the old Nordyke farms in Harmony, and A. ]\IcCloud, to buy 
a home in Chery township. 

January 3rd, 1891, the board of county commissioners met in special 
session to act upon the resignation of H. Herring, of the 3rd district and 
to appoint his successor. After accepting the resignation the remaining 
members. Grant and Eastman, called in the register of deeds, F. W. Whit- 
ney, and the county judge, A. I. Churchill, and organized a board to ap- 
point a new member in place of Mr. Herring. The appointing board 
ballotted several times, the result being two for F. S. Coggshall of 
Pleasant, and two for Jefferson Sickler of Harmony. The county treas- 
urer, H. J. Wallace, was then called in, who voted for ^Mr. Coggshall, 
and he was declared elected. 

On the same day the board perfected an arrangement by which the 
county became the owner of a quarter section of land in Media township, 
owned by Mrs. Mary Smith, the consideration being that the county 
should provide Mrs. Smith a home and care for her as long as she 
should live. A residence was accordingly built on one of the county lots 
near the court house, and in it the aged widow found a home for several 
years. This event in the county's history is made the subject of a touch- 
ing story written by Mrs. J\Iaud Cotton, formerly Maud Campbell, a 
daughter of Rev. J- C. Campbell. The story appears in the appendix 
to this volume. 

On January 5th M. A. Schaefer took the oath as commissioner to 
succeed Mr. Grant from the 2nd district. 

Jerauld Countv"? first installment of money from tlie leasing of school 


JVillard Hotel 1890. 

Jl'oodbiirn House in 1886. 


lands of the state came on the 14th of January, 1891, and amounted ta 

Following the precedent of the previous year the board decided to 
furnish seed grain to farmers of the county who desired it. Accordingly^ 
on the 20th of March an arrangement was made with L. N. Loomis to 
furnish grain, not to exceed $50 in amount, to any one person, at the 
following prices: Wheat 92c to 94c; millet, $1.00 to $1.10; flax, $1.35; 
oats, 50c. Some grain was purchased from farmers in the county who 
had a surplus on hand. The total amount of seed grain provided by the 
county in the spring of 1891 was $6,936.98. To secure payment for the 
grain so furnished the county filed liens on the crops sown. On April 
9th 122 seed liens were filed. 

During the first six months of 1891 the county expended $508.11 in 
support of the poor. 

As usual with the spring rains which are always abundant, hope re- 
vived and the settlers busied themselves with putting in their crops. 

A few had been furnished with a small amount of grain by societies 
of which they w'ere members. The I. O. O. F. secured $100 to be ex- 
pended in seed grain for needy members of the order. 

The State Farmers' Alliance sent 1435 pounds of seed grain to each 
of the 14 alliances in the county. In ]\Iarlar township the alliance mem- 
bers got together and sowed the grain thus received on a piece of corn 
ground that had been abandoned by some discouraged settler. Together 
they harvested and threshed the crop. The yield was 262 bushels of 
wheat and 36 bushels of oats, which they divided equally. 

The winter of 1890-91 was an open winter and very mild, but little 
snow falling until the 7th of February, from which time it fell heavih' 
until spring, when it was followed by heavy rains until about the ist of 
May. Then it stopped. Probably the most discouraging period in the 
history of the county was during the month of May, 1891. The surface 
of the ground became dry and dusty. The vegetation turned from green 
to brown and then yellow. By the 25th of the month there were many 
fields of wheat that did not show even a shade of green — the plants ap- 
peared to be dead. In the corn fields and late sown fields of small grain, 
cut worms appeared in countless numbers. They moved across fields 
like an army devouring every green thing. 

Some farmers gave up in dispair and started to go. They knew not 
where. Then the rains came. 

It was a year of wonderful crops. All over Jerauld county the rains 
came as needed. On some abandoned wheat fields of the year before 
a crop volunteered with no cultivation and yielded 8 to 10 bushels per 
acre. The largest yield of the year — or of any year — in Jerauld county,. 


was on a field of 12 acres, a part of the farm of D. A. Scott, in Media 
township at the foot of the hills, on section i, occupied by W. L. Arnold, 
v.'here forty-seven bushels per acre was harvested. The crop of over 100 
acres made an average yield of ^^ bushels per acre. 

In Blaine township over 700 stacks of wheat could be counted from 
one point, besides hundreds of acres in shock. ' 

And the prices of farm produce, too, were better. In Sioux City on 
Sept. 28th, hogs were $4.50; cattle (stockers) $2.00 to $2.50. In Chi- 
cago wheat was 96c; corn 40c; oats 26c; flax 98; butter (creamery) 20c 
to 31C, dairy 17c to 19c; eggs 17c to i8c. On April loth, the local paper 
thought it worthy of mention that granulated sugar had come down to 
17 pounds for a dollar. 

The rate of interest on money remained at from three to ten per cent 
a month. 

In 1 89 1 there was much discussion of the subject of sinking artesian 
wells in various townships for purpose of irrigation. In Media township 
during the first week in August, County Surveyor Shimp located sites 
for eight such wells. The matter was submitted to the voters of the town- 
ship on December 22nd and voted down. 

In Viola township artesian wells became a matter of private enter- 
prise and were contracted for, in January, by Peter Klink, P. H. Shultz 
and Chas. Walters. The drillers commenced at once on Klink's farm 
and pushed the work as rapidly as possible. In some way the driller 
blundered and the Klink well failed after striking the flow. He then 
abandoned his contracts. 

In Anina township S. S. Moore began work on a well on his farm 
and kept at it all summer gaining a depth of over 1200 feet, but failed 
to secure a flowing well. 

In this year it was proposed to issue bonds to take up the outstanding 
county warrants, which were selling at 80 to 90 cents on the dollar. The 
county was now receiving more from taxes than was required to pay 
running expenses, and by refunding the debt which amounted to about 
$16,000, the warrants could have been held at par. The project was de- 
feated however, mainly through the influence of speculators, who were 
dealing in county warrants. 

The farmers, realizing the benefits to be derived from the operation 
of the farmers elevator at Alpena, pledged 2000 bushels of wheat as a 
fund with which to do business. Shares of stock were sold and the debt 
of the institution paid. 

In January plans were suggested for establishing a creamery at Wes- 
sington Springs. The matter was taken up by the Wessington Springs 
Board of Trade and in February arrangements were perfected with Mr. 


j. C. Longland to put in a plant. The old agricultural hall was moved up 
from the fair grounds and given to Mr. Longland as a bonus and with 
it was given the use of five acres of ground on the section line road run- 
ning east and west through the north part of town. Work was pushed 
as fast as possible and in May Mr. Longland started his wagons gather- 
ing the cream from all parts of the county. 

The True Republican annual spelling contest occurred at Wessington 
Springs on the 14th of March, 1891. The first grade prize for written 
work was won by Samuel Nelson, Harry Nelson and George Stephens, 
tliey forming the class from Anina township. The second grade prize 
was won by a class from the same township composed of Alex. A'essey, 
Frank and Clarence Moore. The prize for oral spelling was won by 
John Riegal, of Logan township. 

The county teachers institute began on the 7th of Sept. and continued 
one week, with Prof. Parker as conductor. 

^Monthly Sunday School institutes were continued in the west part 
of the county during the summer and autumn. 

The annual Sunday School convention was held at Wessington 
Springs on June 24th. 

In Franklin township two Sunday Schools were organized in the 
spring of 1891, one at the Kogle school house, April 5th, with C. M. 
Clark, Supt., and one at Rock Valley in May. 

In December a Christian Endeavor Society was organized at Wes- 
sington Springs, the officers being, T. L. Blank. Prest.; Mary A. Wil- 
liams, V. Prest. ; and Anna S. Flannebuth, Sec. and Treas. 

At Alpena a Presbyterian church was organized by Rev. Hill, synod- 
ical missionary, on May 4th, the opening sermon being preached by Rev. 
Edwin Brown. The original members were Mr. and Mrs. C. ]\I.' Clark, 
by letter from Woon socket church ; Mr. John Houmes and J\Iiss Lena 
Houmes, from Rose Hill church ; Airs. Mary Houmes, from Woon- 
socket church; Mr. and Mrs. C. D. Worrall and their sons; Harry E.. 
James W., and Charles Worrall, from Rose Hill; Mr. and Mrs. Wm. 
Strain, by profession. During the first two years of its existence the 
church was supplied by Rev. Hill, as minister, helped by Rev. Work. 
The elders of the new church were C. M. Clark and C. D. Worrall. The 
trustees were John Houmes and O. G. Woodrufl^. The first representa- 
tive to presbytery was C. M. Clark ; the first delegate to synod was C 
D. Worrall. 

In this year the congregational church at Templeton disbanded and 
tlie membership united with the church of that denomination at Wessing- 
ton Springs, on the 20th day of September. The Wessington Springs 
church vv'as then under the pastorate of Rev. C. V. Martin, who assumed 


that position April ist, 1891, and continued until Oct. 4th, when he was 
succeeded by Rev. Jeremiah Kimball. This church had been organized 
on the 20th day of June, 1886, with Rev. S. F. Huntley, pastor. The 
original members were Mr. and Mrs. T. L. Blank, Mr. and Mrs. E. V. 
?^liles, Mr. and ]\Irs. George W. Bennet and their daughter Minnie, 
Mr. and Mrs. James F. Ford, Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Brown, and Mr. C. 
M. Chery. Mr. Huntley remained pastor until June 3rd, 1887, when 
services were discontinued. ]\Ir. Kimball had charge of the church until 
June 1st, 1893, when Air. Huntley again took the position and held it 
until Oct. 24, 1899, during which time a church and parsonage were 
built. Rev. Jesse Buswell was then pastor until June 23rd, 1900. He 
was succeeded on July 5th by Rev. J. B. Reese, who had charge of the 
church until Oct. ist, 1901. He was followed by Rev. James Davies until 
July 1st, 1905. Then came Rev. John E. Hughes till July ist, 1906, 
when Rev. Lauriston Reynolds took the pastorate. 

In 1 89 1 several changes were made in the newspaper field. On April 
24th O. J. Marshall discontinued the alliance column in the True Re- 
publican and on May 8th a stock company, known as the Jerauld County 
Publishing Company issued the first number of "The Dakota Sieve," a 
paper devoted to the interest of the Independent party, with C. W. Hill, 
editor and B. W. Moore, printer. In the same month. May, Messrs. L. 
W. Kreidler and H. H. Gunderson leased the Herald from Blank & Blank 
for three years, but on Dec. i8th j\Ir. Blosser announced that he had 
purchased that paper and merged it with the True Republican. At Al- 
pena, about the middle of January Air. Simpson suddenly abandoned jour- 
nalistic work in Jerauld county, and Mr. Ray Barber took editorial charge 
of the Journal. 

In the postal service of the county the changes made were : The ap- 
pointment of Airs. P. R. Barrett to be postmistress at Wessington Springs. 
She received her commission on Alay 5th. In Sept. O. G. Woodruff, of 
Alpena, was appointed post office inspector for Jerauld county. 

On July 1st, 1891. a U. S. weather reporting station was located at 
Wessington Springs with Air. Harvey Russ, reporter. The station is 
still maintained. 

In the forepart of Sept. the public school house which, according to 
the law in force at the time it was erected, had been built one mile east 
of the township line, was moved into the village and placed near where 
the Oliver Hotel stands. 

In business afifairs but few changes were made in the county. At 
Waterbury O. P. Hull tore down the building previously occupied by 
him and shipped it to a suburb of Chicago, where it was rebuilt. In 
Wessington Springs in Sept. the Wessington Springs Bank was incor- 


porated with a capital of $5,000. The incorporators were L. L. Lane, of 
Rochester, ]\linn., E. J. and C. W. Lane, of Wessington Springs. 

In August S. T. Leeds moved to Wessington Springs and began 
blacksmithing in a shop owned by G. N. Price. 

At Alpena J. A. Crawford and Isaac Crawford who had been in 
partnership as blacksmiths dissolved the firm and Isaac continued the 
business alone. About the same time, James McDowell and E. G. Kins- 
man formed a partnership and for two years operated a blacksmith shop 

In the summer of 1891 George Arne entered the mercantile business 
in Alpena on the south side of Main street. 

About the same time F. B. Phillips bought Grant McLean's interest 
in the hardware business, and Manwaring Bros, succeeded Roth Bros, in 
general merchandise in I. O. O. F. building. 

On the 29th of August the whole county was shocked by the report 
that Hon. V. I. Converse in a fit of temporary insanity had committed 
suicide by hanging himself in his barn at his home in Anina township. 

Politics attracted but little attention in Jerauld county in 1891. But 
one count}' officer was to be elected and that was a commissioner to suc- 
ceed Mr. Eastman in the east district. The Republicans nominated Mr. 
R. Vanderveen, of Dale township, and the Independents, Mr. David Mc- 
Dowall, of Franklin. The election resulted in favor of the Independents 
and McDowall was elected. 

Mr. John R. Gamble, member of congress, having died, an election 
was called by the governor to fill the vacancy. The election was held at 
the usual time (the first Tuesday after the first INIonday in November), 
and Col. J. L. Jolly, the Republican candidate, carried the county by a 
plurality of six votes. The election was held under the provisions of the 
new "Australian ballot" law. 

Chapter 5. 

If the history of South Dakota journalism is ever written the year 
1892 will be pointed to as the time when journalistic billingsgate was 
most in use. There were but three newspapers in the county. Mr. Bar- 
ber, who though not a newspaper man by profession or experience, yet 
conducted a spicy but clean paper, turned the Journal office at Alpena 
over to Mr. Henry T. Griggs, an ex-preacher, from Brooklyn, N. Y. 
The character of the paper changed materially. At Wessington Springs 

22 = 

Mr. Hull left the Sieve on the 28th of July after having made of it one 
of the most ably edited papers ever published in the county. Logical, 
fluent and witty, yet he kept his publication free from anything that could 
be offensive to any person's sense of decency. Blosser continued in 
charge of the True Republican. He was a printer by trade and a thor- 
ough journalist with high ideals. Articles with anonymous signatures 
that made detrimental reference to any person were refused admission 
to his columns. In all cases he insisted upon such articles being signed 
by the writers true name. What he termed "gorrilla" journalism he 
would not tolerate. 

Probably some excuse may be found for a change that occurred in 
the tone of the papers in the fact that the campaign which began in July 
became one of the most personally bitter ones imaginable. Such expres- 
sions as dude, liar, suck pump, slush bucket and kindred expressions, 
were in common use. It is but fair to Mr. Blosser to say that he main- 
tained for his paper the same standard of excellence during all the years 
he had control of it. 

The year 1892 was presidential election time and the work began 
early. The Alliance began holding political meetings in February and 
held them in every township in the county. After the Independents and 
Republican national conventions both parties held enthusiastic ratification 
meetings at Wessington Springs. But two county tickets were put in 
the field. The Republicans made the following nominations : 

Register of Deeds — David F. Moulton. 

Auditor — W. B. Wilson. 

Treasurer — F. S. Coggshall. 

Sheriff— Wm. Orr. 

County Judge — Alonzo Converse. 

District x\ttorney — C. W. McDonald. 

Clerk of Courts — Geo. R. Bateman. 

Supt. of Schools — Mrs. N. J. Dunham. 

Assessor — J. C. Longland. 

Surveyor — Adam West. 

Legislative — Senate, J. B. Milliken. of Alpena and Representative, 
Ezra Cleveland, of Buftalo county. 

The Democrats and Independents joined forces and put out the fol- 
lowing ticket : 

Register of Deeds — E. G. Will I. 

Auditor — O. J. Marshall, I. 

Treasurer— P. H. Shultz, I. 

Sheriff— K. S. Starkey, I. 

County Judge — J. R. Francis, D. 


District Attorney — M. C. Ayers, D. 

Clerk of Courts — S. S. Vrooman, I. 

Supt. of Schools— T. L. White, D. 

Assessor — Jas. McDonald, I. 

Surveyor — B. R. Shimp, D. 

Coroner — E. L. Turner. 

Legislative — Senate, J. N. Smith, of Jerauld county, and Representa- 
tive, James Leach, of Buffalo county. 

For county commissioner for the 3rd district the Independents nom- 
inated C. S. Barber, of Pleasant township, and the Republicans D. B. 
Paddock of Logan. 

For the first, (and only) time in the history of the county, the teach- 
ers as an organized body took a hand in politics. The county teachers' 
institute met on Sept. 5th and continued in session two weeks, Prof. 
Jones, of Chamberlain, being the conductor. During this institute a 
teachers' association was formed. Mr. Williams during his term as 
county superintendent, had become very popular with the educators of 
the county, and they now, with but few exceptions signed a request to 
both the Independent and Republican candidates to decline the nomina- 
tions that had been tendered them and allow Mr. Williams a clear field 
as a candidate, independent of party politics. Both the other candidates 
submitted the matter to their party county committees and the request 
was denied. 

The teachers then urged Mr. Williams to become a third candidate 
and he consented. 

The election was held on Nov. 8th, and the following officers were 
elected : 

Treasurer — F. S. Coggshall. 

Register of Deeds — David F. Moulton. 

Auditor— O. J. Marshall. 

Clerk of Courts — S. S. Vrooman. 

States Attorney — M. C. Ayers. 

County Judge — J. R. Francis. 

Sheriff— K. S. Starkey. 

Supt. of Schools— T. L. White, 

Surveyor — Adam West. 

Coroner — E. L. Turner. 

Assessor — J. C. Longland. 

County Commissioners, 3rd district, D. B. Paddock. 

Legislative, Senate, J. R. Milliken, Representative, Ezra Cleveland. 

In the proceedings of the county commissioners but little occurred 
outside of ordinary routine. The seed grain notes taken by the county 





», jx^ 





^ ^^ 







il/rj. /. B. Collins. 

S. S. Vrooman. 

M. A. Schacfcr 

JVm. B rod k orb. 


during the three preceeding years had nearly all been paid, — only $388.80 
remaining uncollected on April ist. 

The expense of caring for the poor during the year 1892 was but, 

David McDovvall took the oath as a member of the board on January 
4th and the new board made F. S. Coggshall chairman. 

The people of the northern townships petitioned the county commis- 
sioners to have the hill road west from Alpena graded for the benefit 
of the farmers in that part of the county who marketed their produce and 
obtained their supplies at that station. The petition was laid over and 
never granted. 

The east half of sections 12 and 13 of Media township, on the 6th of 
July, were made a part of Wessington Springs township, and on July 
30th the commissioners made an order attaching all of sections i, 12 and 
13 of IVIedia township to Wessington Springs township for all purposes. 

A bridge was built across the Firesteel creek in the northeast corner 
of Viola township and one over Smith creek in the southern part of 

Judge A. I. Churchill died on June 19th, and on petition to the gov- 
ernor, Alonzo Converse was appointed to fill the vacancy. 

About May ist a mass meeting was held at Wessington Springs to 
arrange for soliciting aid for the people of Russia who were suffering 
from famine. Over $70 in money were collected at the meeting and com- 
mittees appointed in each township to collect money, or grain to be for- 
warded to the national committee in New York where a ship was waiting 
to take it to the scene of destitution. Several hundred dollars were col- 
lected, but no report was ever made of the exact amount. 

■ Railroad projects were again rumored, and it was said that a road 
known as the Huron, Wheeler & Denver Ry. was to be pushed through 
at once and that the Great Northern Ry. Co. was behind the -move. The 
story of the Midland Pacific from Sioux Falls west was revived and 
people thought it would certainly be built. 

On the loth of February a mass meeting was held at the instance 
of The Goodland, (Kan.) Rain Co. to take action on a proposition to be 
submitted by the company to the people of the county. The company for 
the purposes of their operations had divided the state into districts, 30X 
50 miles in extent. Their proposal was to produce from one-half to two 
inches of rainfall over the district when desired, they to receive $600 
therefor, which amount they were willing to take in county warrants. 
The meeting voted to ask the county commissioners to issue a warrant 
for $60, being Jerauld county's portion for the preliminary eft'ort. The 
commissioners refused and there the matter ended. 


Sunday school work was continued as usual in various parts of the 
county. The county convention was held at Wessington Springs on July 
/th and the monthly institutes continued in the w-estern townships. In 
Wessington Springs a Congregational Sunday School was organized on 
April 3rd, which has been continued to the present time. A Sunday 
School was started at the Dale Center school house and continued during 
the summer. 

In Pleasant township a meeting was held on the 8th of ]\Iay to take 
steps toward erecting a Congregational church building in the central 
part of the township. 

A district W. C. T. U. convention was held at Wessington Springs- 
on ]\Iay 25th, at which several counties were represented. 

Entertainments were held in Alpena and Franklin townships to prov- 
ide libraries for the Liberty and Dry Run schools. 

A company of farmers was formed in August in Alpena and Franklin 
townships with D. P. Burnison, president, and Geo. E. Whitney, secre- 
tary, to hire their season's threshing done. The company controlled 
about 1500 acres of grain. 

About the same time John Sime began the construction of the large 
two story frame house that for years stood as a land mark in the north- 
west part of Franklin township. 

In Crow Lake township a gentleman named AVelsh, a teacher of 
vocal music, opened a singing school, and also one in the Kellogg dis- 
trict in Anina township. Both were a success. 

At Alpena but few changes occurred in business matters. The Pres- 
byterian church society purchased the old store building at the northwest 
corner of Main and 2nd streets. The society continued to occupy this 
building until 1 901, when the new church was built. 

In the year 1892 J. J. Hillis began business as a barber and continued 
it until 1897 when he sold to L. N. Tillery. In 1902 A. AI. Winters 
purchased the business from Tillery. 

On Nov. loth a change w^as made in station masters, Mr. M. J. Rem- 
shaw going into the station at Aberdeen and A. Amundson taking the 
vacancy at Alpena. 

In January, 1892, the Bank of Alpena incorporated with L. N. 
Loomis, D. F. Royer and H. J. Wallace, owners of the stock. This bank 
had been an exception among the banks of the state in the rates of in- 
terest charged, and with the change to a corporation, by it and the bank 
at Wessington Springs, the rate began to be lowered in all the surround- 
ing tovi^ns. 

At Wessington Springs, several changes occurred in the business 


After the death of Dr. A. M. Mathias, which occurred on the 23rd 
of January, Mrs. N. C. Hall took sole charge of the drug store and in 
Alay became proprietor of it. 

About the first of May R. C. Smith opened a drug store in the old 
Stephens building, which he continued until the next year, when it was 
destroyed by fire. 

In January W. L. Arnold began operating a feed store and continued 
it until February 17th, wdien he bought the stock of Berger & Son. 
About the loth of March Mr. Arnold sold his stock to the National Union 
company, he remaining as manager. The plan of this corporation was 
to secure the trade of members of the farmers alliance. To do this they 
offered to each member in good standing (whose dues were paid) a re- 
turn in cash at the end of six months, or a year, an amount equal to two 
per cent of the total sum of his cash, and in addition thereto a 
share in the company protfis. The company did not live long enough to 
make any returns, nor divide any profits. 

About the 20th of April G. N. Price and J. M. Spears made a deed, 
whereby Price quit running a hotel and Spears stopped taking teams at 
the hotel bam. 

C. W. England opened a tobacco store in the old Herald building on 
the north side of Main street, and Will Spears had a barber shop in 
several different rooms along Main street. 

S. T. Leeds purchased the old machinery building on the northeast 
corner of Main and 2nd Sts. and about the first of September began work 
there as a blacksmith. 

In Alarch Wm. Kline set up an emery wheel in his shop, probably the 
first wheel of its kind in the county. 

The creamery had so far proved a great help to the farming com- 
munity and in September the tread wheel which had furnished the power 
was taken out and a steam engine put in its place. 

At the Seminary the first class was graduated on June 23rd. The 
graduates were Misses M. Delia England, Ellen M. \^esscy and Anna 
M. Mnrtin. 

The Post Office became a money order office in March. 

The price of wheat had dropped to 43 cents per bushed in October. 


Chapter 6. 

The year 1893 will be remembered by men, and in history, as the 
year of the great panic. The cause of it will probably always be a mat- 
ter for discussion by politician, statesmen, economists and historians. 
But that is a part of it with which this chronicle has nothing to do. We 
have to do only with events that affected Jerauld county. 

People were recovering from the disaster of two years before, and 
many who had left the county then were returning and a hopeful spirit 
was common. Farm produce was bringing a better price; hogs $7 per 
hundred weight; cattle $2.50 to $4.00 for stockers ; wheat 60c to 70c 
per bushel, and there was an activity in real estate that had not been seen 
for ten years. A large acreage of all kinds of grain was planted. This 
condition continued until June. Then the crash came. Many there were 
who said, "We told you so," but they obtained little heed. Men were 
too astounded and stupified to care for that. In an instant a cyclone of 
adversity had swept the county and left ruin and despair everywhere. 

Dunn & Co.'s commercial agency reported 16,650 failures in the U. 
S. with aggregate liabilities amounting to $498,000,000 besides the liabil- 
ities of railroads in the hands of receivers, which amounted to $1,122, 
217,833, with millions of laborers out of employment. 

By October wheat was selling at 25 to 30 cents per bushel, mixed 
cattle $1.25 per hundred weight, and everything else in proportion. 
Every day brought news of additional failures and additional thousands 
of workmen out of employment. Of what use was the surplus of crop, 
when there was no busy laborer to buy it? Jerauld county granaries were 
well filled, and the herds numerous, but these products of the farm could 
not be sold for enough to pay the cost of production. To the credit of 
Jerauld county be it said that in that year of the panic and the years that 
followed but two business houses closed their doors and they did not 
have the aid of the sheriff nor writs of attachments. Like wayfarers 
caught in a storm, the people adjusted themselves to the situation as best 
they could and waited for the tempest to pass. 

But aside from the effects of the financial difficulties the affairs of 
Jerauld county and its people kept on about as usual. 

The new commissioner, D. B. Paddock, took the official oath January 
3rd and the board organized by electing Mr. Schaefer chairman. 

The expense to the county of relieving the poor during the first 
quarter of the year was $16.75 ; during the second quarter, $64.85 ; during 
the third quarter, $193.89; and during the last quarter, $18.80. Total 
for year $294.29. 

A countv bridge was built bv Daniel Kint. of Alpena, across Sand 


Creek in the northeast part of Dale township and another across the 
same stream south of Alpena. W. N. Hill built a bridge for the county 
at the west end of Crow Lake across Smith Creek, and one in the south- 
east corner of Logan township across the same stream. He also built a 
county bridge across the Firesteel in the northeast part of Viola. 

So the work of the county board was performed to the satisfaction 
of everybody. In September they levied the usual tax for the different 
purposes and in November Air. Schaefer was re-elected from the middle 
district over J. E. White, of Wessington Springs township, Mr. Schaefer 
receiving every vote in his home precinct. 

During the summer and autumn there was the annual rumor about 
the Midland Pacific Ry., but it ended there.. 

The yearly Sunday School convention was held on the 6th of June, 
and in Sept., from the 4th to the 15th. the county teachers" institute was 
in session with Prof. Savage, of Kimball, conductor, and Miss Barber, 
of Buft'alo county, for the third time assistant conductor. 

On January 1 8th diptheria made its appearance among the students 
at the seminary, and quarantine followed. For several weeks the school 
was closed and the most heroic eft"orts of the faculty were required to 
care for the sick. Yet, the school was able to graduate a class of one 
student at the regular commencement exercises on the 23rd of June, 
when a diploma was granted to Air. N. B. Gormley. During the spring 
months the students at the seminary prepared exhibits of their work, 
which were sent to the educational department of the A\'orlds Fair at 

On the evening of November 28 the "Sunshine Alakers," a society of 
children organized by Aliss Emma Freeland, one of the seminary teach- 
ers, celebrated their first anniversary. This band of little folks had been 
true to their name and continued so for several years, carrying their 
bright, cheerful efforts into man}- places that otherwise would have been 
gloomy enough. 

In connection with the Wessington Springs AI. E. Church a junior 
league was formed Feb. 12th, and on June 24th the W. C. T. U. organ- 
ized a Loyal Legion with seventeen members. 

A district encampment of the G. A. R. was held at Wessington 
Springs on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of July, which was attended by veterans 
of the civil war from all parts of the state. The principal speakers were 
Gov. C. H. Sheldon, and Congressman W. N. Lucas. On the next day 
after the close of the encampment the W. R. C. was reorganized and for 
several years thereafter was a helpful auxiliary to E. O. C. Ord G. A. 
R. Post. 


The Congregational church which had now become a strong society 
erected a parsonage, completing it in November. 

The annual county spelling contest on J\Iarch nth, was won by the 
Franklin township class, composed of the following students: Misses 
Lena Whiffin, Julia Doctor and Atkinson. 

In February Mrs. P. R. Barrett, who for so many years had been 
the efficient postmistress at Wessington Springs, resigned her position 
and G. R. Bateman was appointed to the office. 

The village of Wessington Springs, on ]\Iay 3rd, applied to the county 
commissioners for permission to incorporate, which was granted subject 
to an election called for May 15th. The vote was favorable and on ^lay 
29th the following officers were elected : 

Trustees — J. H. Woodburn, F. W. Whitney and H. J. Wallace. 

Clerk — ^J. K. Freeland. 

Treasurer — F. G. Vessey. 

Assessor — D. B. Segar. 

Justice — Geo. R. Bateman. 

Marshall — H. C. Stephens. 

The village trustees met on June 2nd and elected J. H. W'oodburn 
president of the board. On July 12th the county commissioners declared 
the village incorporated. 

In the autumn the village trustees awarded to Andrew INIercer the 
contract for making a stone arch in each of the two gullies that crossed 
the west part of Main street. One of the arches — the west one — was 
completed in December, the work being done by Anton Reindl. 

The only change among the newspapers of the county was in the 
Sieve office — C. W. Hill succeeding B. W. Moore as editor. 

In this year, 1893, several changes were made in business affairs in 
the county. 

W. L. Arnold, having cleared himself from the entanglements of the 
National Union Co., again commenced business in the old Kinny building 
in Wessington Springs. Later in the season he purchased the building 
where C. N. Hall had been conducting his harness business and moved 
m there. 

]\Tr. Hall took his harness work out to his farm in Media township. 

J. H. Vessey opened a general stock of merchandise in the room 
vacated by Mr. Arnold and continued the business until December when 
he sold the stock to C. W. Lane. 

In the spring ]\Ir. Wm. Brodkorb began running a meat market 
in the old Hackett building on the south side of Main street. In the fall 
he put up a building at the southeast corner of Main and 3rd streets. 
This was the first permanent market in Wessington Springs. 


J. A. Crawford began blacksmithing in a new shop located between 
Albert & Vessey's store and Price's livery barn. 

About March ist O. O. England began doing a hardware business on 
the north side of Main street, in the old Herald building. This business 
was continued by Mr. England for a number of years. 

April 1st Pat McDonald engaged in the farm implement business in 
Wessington Springs. 

At Waterbury a gentleman named Harris rented the old Rice & Her- 
ring building and in March opened a general merchandise store. 

At Alpena jMessrs. E. G. Kinsman and James McDowell dissolved 
partnership as blacksmiths, McDowell going to Minnesota and Kinsman 
continuing the business alone until 1908, when he sold to his son George 
and a newphew of the same name. 

Probably the most important event in Alpena during the year 1893 
was the building of the city scales. This was done in accordance with the 
statute requiring every incorporated town in the state to provide a set 
of public scales and appoint a weighmaster who should have a set of U. 
S. standard weights and measures for testing all weights and measures 
used by any person in doing business with the public. Senator Milliken 
had introduced the law- and had it passed by the legislature and he 
insisted upon compliance with its provisions. 

Chapter 7. 

Ihere was no change in the board of commissioners in January, 
1894, but they reorganized on the 2nd day of the month by electing David 
McDowall chairman. 

Caring for the poor during the first three months cost the county 
$40.12; 2nd quarter, $305.24; 3rd quarter, $145.00. 

A steel bridge was built across a branch of Crow Creek in Crow 
township south of Waterbury in July, the work being done by W. N. 
Hill. In the village of Wessington Springs the second stone arch was 
completed on Main street between 2nd and 3rd streets. 

By the first of October it was apparent that the county must again 
furnish seed grain to some of the farmers of the county, and the com- 
missioners requested that a mass meeting be held in each township to 
ascertain the amount needed, but stating that not more than fifty bushels 
would be furnished to any one person. The meetings were held and the 
following report made to the board : 


Blaine, 1200 bu. ; Anina, 100 bu. ; Crow Lake, 180 bu. ; Logan, 60 
bu. ; Franklin, 220 bu. ; Wessington Springs, 410 bu. ; ]^Iedia, 825 bu. ; 
Pleasant, 578 bu. ; Crow, 200 bu. ; Alpena, 950 bu. ; Dale, 850 bu. ; Chery, 
900 bu. ; Marlar, 500 bu. ; Viola, none; and Harmony none. Total 6973. 

Li the spelling contest that occurred on the 17th of iMarch the class 
from Blaine township made a tie with the class from Franklin township 
for the first prize, and with the class from Alpena township for the 
second prize. This was the last of the contests. 

The county teachers' institute was held July 9th to 20th, Mr. A. G. 
Savage, of Kimball again being conductor, assisted by J. W. Harden 
and S. F. Huntley. 

On the 13th of May the Wessington Springs Epworth League, which 
society had maintained its organization since 1889, celebrated its 5th 
anniversary, and in July it entertained the League's state convention. 

. In April the L^niversalists began holding union Sunday School at the 
public' school building. 

Rev. T. Donoghue accepted the position of pastor of the Free Me- 
thodist church in November. 

At the Wessington Springs Seminary the class of 1894 received its 
diplomas at the June commencement. The members of the class were 
Effie and Nellie Reed, Anna S. Hanebuth, Leora Smith. \\'. A. Baldwin. 
George H. Grace and Thomas V. Fear. 

In October a change was made in the Wessington Springs mail service 
by the appointment of Mrs. Eva V. Whitney to the position of post- 

On the night of Friday, Jan. 12 the old Stephens building, then oc- 
cupied by R. C. Smith's drug store, was burned. The building and con- 
tents were a total loss. Mrs. Anna Hawley, now Mrs. James Weast. 
who with her family lived in the upper rooms, lost everything. 

Air. J. C. Longland sold his creamery building in Wessington Springs 
to C. W. Lane, in February, and moved to Artesian. 

The stock of merchandise that C. W. Lane purchased of J. H. \^essey 
in the previous December was sold in March to J. R. Alilliken, who 
moved it to Alpena. 

At Waterbury Levi Harris, who had been in mercantile business there 
a little over a year sold his stock and moved to Aliller in Hand county. 

At Alpena George Arne began in January to close out his mercantile 
stock and in February moved to Iowa. It was into the room vacated by 
Arne that j\Ir. Milliken moved the stock he purchased from Lane at 
Wessington Springs. 


In Jtme a very enthusiastic P'ree Methodist camp meeting was held 
in R. J. Eastmans grove four miles south of Alpena. 

In September W. P. Shulz, who had built a machine for drilling ar- 
terian wells, began work on a well for P. H. Shultz on the latter's 
farm in Viola township and in November the well was completed. 

The work undertaken by Mr. Shultz was so highly appreciated by the 
people of the county, that the well machine owned by him, valued at 
$4000, has, by tacit consent, been exempted from taxation, and never 
listed by the assessors. 

i\bout the same time Wm. Kline and Pat McDonald contracted with 
S. H. Albert to put down an artesian well on his farm in Chery township. 
They completed the well the next summer. 

Politics was at the highest pitch of excitement almost continuously 
from 1892 to 1896. The campaign of 1894 was probably the most per- 
sonal of any the county ever saw\ A Jerauld county humorist said poli- 
tics was '"epidemic;" two years later he pronounced it "endemic." The 
Independents had changed their name to "Populists" and the contest was 
between them and the Republicans. 

On August nth the Republicans named a ticket as follows: 

Register of Deeds — D. F. Moulton. 

Treasurer — F. S. Coggshall. 

Auditor — B. B. Blosser. 

Sheriff — H. C. Stephens. 

Judge — C. D. Brown. 

Attorney— S. B. Tidd. 

Clerk of Courts — C. G. Smith. 

Supt. of Schools — S. F. Huntley. 

Surveyor — A. H. West. 

Coroner — E. L. Turner. 

State Senator — J. R. Milliken, of Jerauld county. 

Representative — B. C. Huddle, of Buffalo county. 

The Populists held their convention on August 18th and nominated: 

Register of Deeds — P. T. Varnum. 

Treasurer — M. A. Schaefer. 

Auditor — J. A. Paddock. 

Sheriff — A. Mercer. 

Judge — Wm. Carroll. 

Attorney — Daniel Mitchell. 

Clerk of Courts — S. S. Vrooman. 

Supt. of Schools — George O. Williams. 

Surveyor — Chas. Whiffin. 

State Senator — C. C. Wright, of Jerauld county. 

Representative — Henry KHndt, of Buffalo county. 


Bank of Alpena. 

J. R. Milliken. 

P. H. ShulL: 


In the first commissioner district the Republicans nominated A. Bran- 
denburg, of Alpena township, and the Populists re-nominated David 
McDowall, of Franklin. 

The election occurred on the 6th of November with the following 
result : 

State Senator — C. C. Wright. 

Representative — Henry Klindt. 

Register of Deeds — P. T. Varnum. 

Treasurer — M. A. Schaefer. 

Auditor — J. A. Paddock. 

Clerk of Courts- — S. S. Vrooman. 

County Judge — C. D. Brown. 

Sheriff — A. Mercer. 

Attorney — Daniel Mitchell. 

County Supt. — Geo .O. Williams. 
Surveyor — Chas. Whiffin. 

Coroner — E. L. Turner. 

County Commissioner, ist Dist. — D. McDowall. 

At this election the commissioners on their own motion had submitted 
two questions to the people : 1st, Shall the county furnish seed grain in 
the spring of 1895? 2nd, Shall security other than a lien on the crop 
be required? On the first of these questions a large majority votes "yes;" 
on the 2nd an equally large majority voted "no." 

On the i8th of December, Mr. Schaefer having resigned his position 
as commissioner from the middle district, P. H. Shultz, of Viola town- 
ship was appointed to fill the vacancy. 


Maybe it is in accord with the immutable law of "survival of the 
fittest" that nature tests, by disaster and adversity, the fitness of people 
to inhabit a land they claim as their own. But be that as it may, certain 
it is that the people of the Dakotas had enough of trials in the 90s. 

The year 1893 with its panic in business and consequent shrinkage in 
values, and low prices, was followed in 1894 by a season of dry weather 
that in heat and duration had never been equalled before, nor never has 
been since, in the territory occupied by the two states. Yet it was but 
a locality in a drouth that extended that year, from the Allegheny to the 
Rocky mountains, and beyond. 

But little snow fell during the winter of 1893-94 and spring came 
early. A few encouraging showers came in April and the forepart of 
May, and then stopped. Not enough rain to beat down the dust felt 


again until the middle of September. Yet such is the ability of the Da- 
kota soil, because of its formation, to return moisture and resist the 
effects of drouth, that where crops were properly planted, some fair 
yields were obtained. Deep plowing was rare, but in 1894 its value Ayas 
demonstrated. In every instance where the ground was plowed deep and 
then properh' cultivated a fair crop was harvested. In many other fields 
the grain did not form a kernel. Prices remained the same as in the 
previous year, for though the supply of farm produce was but about one- 
half of previous years, in the nation at large, yet the demand for it, then, 
as always, was measured by the ability to buy. Business depression. 
closed factories and idle workmen combined to keep the prices down. 

In August the people began to inquire about some place to go to get 
employment. Some suggested one thing, some another. Some prepared 
to go to Wisconsin and Minnesota, but then came the report of the 
drouth and terrible forest fires there where over three hundred people 
had been burned to death in a single county. Senator J. N. Smith who 
was on a visit to friends in Iowa and Nebraska wrote to the editor of 
the Sieve at Wessington Springs to the effect that the drouth there was 
as bad as in South Dakota. Mr. Frank Kutil, of Franklin township, 
started for Missouri, but when he reached Council Bluffs, he met people 
from that state, Kansas and other localities all wandering about aimlessly 
in different directions looking for employment. He crossed the river to 
Omaha, where he was fortunate in finding a sympathetic stranger who 
helped him to get work until the next summer. Then he received infor- 
mation that the boys had raised a good croop on the home farm and with 
his wife took the train for South Dakota. They arrived at Woonsocket 
when the grain along the way was turning to a golden yellow, and was 
met with the news that a terrific hail storm had swept over the north 
part of Franklin township the previous night and the crops on his farm 
were utterly destroyed. But others had need of help and he stayed. Like 
thousands more he prospered in the years that followed. 

People who had gathered herds of cows and hogs and had diversified 
their farming operations were in better condition to withstand the trials 
that beset them. 

But the people will become accustomed to any condition if long enough 
continued, and what at first seems unbearable will eventually be borne 
with some degree of good nature. So people came to look for something 
to laugh at even in their doleful situation. The droning sound of the 
sheriff's voice as he read a foreclosure sale of some quarter section of 
land became so common that it Avas unnoticed, or if noticed at all was 
made the subject of jest. On one occasion the sheriff's deputy was read- 
ing a sale with no thought of a buyer being present, when some one called 


out, "Fifteen dollars for the whole quarter." "You go to thunder," said 
the deputy, "there ain't to be no interuptions in this sale," and no further 
notice was taken of the bid. 

People danced, played ball, ran horses, joked, talked politics and in 
many ways helped each other to pass away the days of gloom, knowing 
that in the general despondency they and all the world were kin. 

So the year drew on to winter. People gathered fuel from the 
prairies and made themselves as comfortable as possible for the mild 
winter that followed, deriving hope from the fact that one drouth is 
seldom followed bv another. 

Chapter 8. 

At the re-organization of the board of county commissioners, on the 
day of January, 1895, D. B. Paddock was made chairman, but. 

under a change in the law the new auditor did not take his position until 
the — day of March. 

During the winter many of the farmers had sold what grain they had 
and at the meeting of the commissioners on the 9th of March the board 
found that the demand for seed grain had greatly increased. The amount 
required in the different townships now was : 

Blaine, 2540 bu. ; Viola, 1595; Anina, 600; Crow Lake, 430; Logan, 
785; Franklin, 1770; Wessington Springs, 1195; Media, 795; Pleasant, 
1 128; Crow, 125; Alpena, 2124 ;Dale, 700; Chery, 840; Harmony, 660: 
and Marlar, 770. Total 16,107 bu. 

During the first three months of 1895 relief for the poor cost $165.01 : 
2nd quarter, $72.33; 3rd quarter, $266.55; ^'"^d the last quarter, $41.65. 
Total $545-57- 

Li previous winters the snow had drifted over the hill and blocked 
the road which had been graded on the north side of the ravine west of 
town, and the county commissioners decided to bridge the ravine and 
put the road on the south side. The contract was let April 26th to An- 
ton Reindl to build a stone arch similar to the two he had built in the 
town of Wessington Springs. The contract price was $295. The grading 
of the new road was done by W. B. McDonald. The work on both the 
arch and the grade was accepted by the board at its July meeting. 

The claims against the bondsmen arising out of the Williams' defal- 
cation, which had been fought through the circuit and supreme courts of 
the state were settled at the September meeting of the board by Mary 



Daniel Mitchell. Mr. and Mrs. C. C. JJ^rio^ht. Alonzo Converse. 


Williams, deeding to the county the SW quarter of 3 — 107 — 64 and 
paying the county $165.66 in money. 

In the west district, as the time approached for the election of a com- 
missioner to succeed Mr. Paddock on the county board, the Populists 
nominated Mr. George Burger, of Crow township and the Republicans 
re-nominated Mr. Paddock, who was re-elected. 

The county Sunday School convention was held ]\Iay 28th. 

The commencement exercises at the Wessington Springs seminary 
occurred on the 8th of June, when the following students were graduated: 
Amy ]\I. R. Amos, Jennie Barrett, Addie Knieriem, and Herbert W. 

The annual teachers" normal institute for the county which was held 
Sept. 2nd to the 6th, was preceded by a teachers' school, which lasted 
two weeks, conducted by Supt. Williams and Prof. Jones. 

During April, May and June the rains were abundant and the crop 
prospects excellent, but the afternoon of the 5th of July the wind that 
had been in the southeast for several days swung into the southwest and 
became intensely hot. Much injury was done to the late-planted grain, 
but as a Avhole the crops in the county were fair. That was the last of 
the "hot winds'' in Jerauld county. But prices of all kinds of farm pro- 
ducts were improving and people began to hope for the immediate return 
of better times. 

About May ist Mr. B. B. Blosser sold the True Republican to W. 
F. Bancroft and went to Illinois to engage in newspaper work there. 

February ist C. W. Hill retired from the Sieve and was succeeded 
by W. F. Yege in the editorial management of the paper. 

In June a girls baseball club was organized at Wessington Springs, 
composed of two nines, one of which assumed the name of "Blue Jays," 
the other, "Bobolinks." For several weeks a good deal of time was 
deovted to practice, to the great amusement of the girls as well as the 
"fans." The "Blue Jays" which was called the first nine had as members. 
Mary Williams, captain, Mary Huntley, Alyrtle Price, Alillie Price, 
Aletha Johnson, Eula Wallace, Nellie Mercer, Mathilda Brodkorb and 
Abbie Whitney. The other nine — the "Bobolinks" — had Eva Whitney, 
captain, Grace Dunham, Alice Brodkorb, ]\Iabelle Huntley, May Lewis, 
Minnie Lewis, Cora England, Edith Hill and Mabel Seger. The fame 
of this club spread through the state and in August the people of Ashton 
invited the "Blue J^ys" to meet a similar club from Faulkton on the 
Ashton diamond. The invitation was accepted, but when the time came 
for the game the Misses Abbie Whitney and Mathilda Brodkorb were 
unable to go and their places were taken by Eva Whitney and Mabelle 
Huntley, of the "Bobolinks." Of course there was much discussion in 


the town as to the propriety of letting the girls go. Nevertheless they 
went, in charge of G. N. Price. While they were gone but little else 
was talked about by the people at home. But all grumbling ceased, when, 
on the afternoon of the game Uncle Charley England received a dispatch 
from Mary Huntley announcing a victory for the "Blue Jays" by a score 
of 21 to 13. 

In January the Universalists organized a society at AVessington 
Springs and began holding religious services, led by Air. James IMosher. 
The meetings were held at the residences of the members. 

A literary and debating society at the Dale Center school house during 
the winter of 1894-95 attracted considerable attention and was well at- 
tended by people in that part of the county. 

A Union Sunday School with 33 members was organized in the south- 
east part of Viola township on March 24th and was well attended through 
the year. 

In the latter part of February the farmers of Viola township held a 
meeting at which a strong sentiment was expressed in favor of bonding 
the township to put down a number of artesian wells. ]jut a few days 
later W. P. Shulz, began drilling a well for Charles Walters, and after 
it was finished he put down one for Christopher Clodt, and another for 
Peter Klink. Nothing further was done about bonding the township. 

In September Kline and McDonald completed the Albert's well in 
Chery township. 

In the summer of 1895 ^^^^ Sullivan P. O. was changed from the 
residence of Mr. W. W. Goodwin in the southern part of Wessington 
Springs township to the residence of Wm. Webber in Anina. 

An old settlers association was organized on June 25th, at a picnic 
held in the grove at Wessington Springs. F. T. Tofflemier was made 
president and Geo. O. Williams secretary. A vice-president of the asso- 
ciation was elected for each township, Mr. L. G. Wilson was elected 

In business affairs several changes were made in the year 1895. 

J. R. INIilliken sold his Alpena store to H. A. Miller and his son 
Charles, in February and in October changed his residence to ^Mitchell. 
Miller & Son moved the stock of goods in March to Wessington Springs 
and placed it on one side of the store room occupied by W. L. Arnold. 
Arnold sold dry goods and Miller sold groceries. In September Arnold 
began a series of auction sales to close out his business, and in November 
Millers moved their stock of goods to their farm in Chery township. 

The hardware store in Alpena w^as sold by F. B. Phillips to D. H. 
Wood and Phillips moved to Oregon. 


After Miller & Son moved their goods to Wessiiigton Springs, C. C. 
Isenhuth, who had been running a store at \'irgil moved his stock to 

On December 27th, 1895, a notice was published in the Alpena Journal 
calling a meeting for December 31st, at Odd Fellows Hall for the pur- 
pose of forming a co-operative creamery company. At the time appointed 
a large number of farmers assembled and took an earnest part in the 
project. D. H. Wood was made chairman of the meeting and Henry T. 
Griggs secretary. A preliminary organization was perfected and 23 
shares, at $50 each, were taken. The meeting then adjourned to Jan. 
7th. This was one of the most important events in the history of the 
county. It may properly be said to mark the end of the hard times, in 
Jerauld county. 

The business depression that followed the panic of 1893 continued 
through 1896. In August wheat was 31c to 36c per bushel; oats lOc; rye 
15c: flax 50c. In the hope of bettering their condition the \\'illiams, 
^Nliles. Shryock, Hawthorne, Hill, Converse and other families moved 
into southern states, some going to Mississippi, some to Georgia. In 
January }*lrs. X. C. Hall sold her drug stock in Wessington Springs, 
which was moved to Carthage, and later she removed to Fitzgerald, 
Georgia. In the years that followed several of these families returned 
to Jerauld county, among them being, Miles, McDonald, Williams and 

On the farms the crops w-ere good, but no one could be called pros- 
perous because of the miserably low prices. 

In social, religious and educational matters things went on about 
as usual. 

The teachers' institute was held June 29th to July 9th with Prof. Jones 
of Chamberlain, again conductor, and Miss Conley, of Woonsocket, 

The Sunday School convention was held April 30th. 

In ( )ctober the pastor of the J\I. E. church reported a membership of 
127 in the societies of that denomination in Wessington Sj^rings. Mola 
and ]\Iedia townships, with 10 probationers. 

(^n Sept. 1 8th an agricultural exhibit was held at Wessington Springs, 
that was well attended from all parts of the county. The vegetable and 
household exhibits were in a large tent that had been secured for the 
occasion. .\ ])ony race, foot race and liall game were parts of the enter- 
tainment. The pony race was won by Marion Corbin's pony "White 
Stocking." The foot race was won by S. E. Pflamn of Logan township. 
The ])all game was won by the Artesian team over the \\ essington 
Springs nine. 


May 1st G. N. Price again took possession of the Waterbury stage 

The board of county commissioners re-organized January 6th with 
P. H. Shultz as chairman. Nothing but the merest routine business was 
done by the board during the year. Not a single special session was held. 

The only change among the newspapers of the county was in the 
Sieve office Feb. ist, W. F. Yegge retiring to be succeeded by G. W. 
Backus. ]\Ir. Yegge began publishing "The Local Press" at his farm in 
Chery township. 

In March i\F S. Cowman, who had been a resident of Yankton Co., 
Dakota, since the year 1868 moved up from Gayville, S. D., and rented 
the Parkhurst ranch, which extended across the Bateman Gulch south 
of Wessington Springs. 

In April the bottom lands along Crow Creek were flooded for a few 
days by the spring rains. 

On June 12th the old settlers of Western Jerauld county had their 
annual picnic at Waterbury, and on the 23rd the prohibitionists had a 
political rally at the same place. 

Later in the season the old Herring store building was torn down 
and the material used in the construction of a barn on what was then 
known as the Martin ranch northeast of Waterbury. 

On March 30th the farmers of Logan township met at the Glen post 
office to discuss the matter of establishing a co-operative creamery at 
that point. 

In February, 1896, D. F. Royer sold to L. N. Loomis his interest in 
the Bank of Alpena. 

May 5th was one of the most important days in the history of the 
northeast portion of the county, for on that day the Alpena co-operative 
creamery began doing business. 

The first graduating exercises of the Alpena public schools occurred 
on May 22nd, Supt. Williams presenting the diplomas to a class, com- 
posed of Gertrude Pearce, Ethel Davenport, W^ena and Carrie Xolt. and 
Hattie Strain. 

In Blaine township an artesian well was completed on the Frank- 
Campbell farm in June by K. S. Starkey. 

In Dale township arrangements were made for a series of revival 
meetings to be held at the Center school house, beginning in December. 
Rev. Jensen, of Bates, Hand county, was engaged to conduct the meet- 
ings. The extremel}^ severe winter prevented the plan being carried ort 

As the winter, which began in October, increased in severity and the 
snow continued to fall and pile up in great drifts, the jack ralibits gath- 


ered in droves about the tree claims and groves. It was no unusual thing 
to see several hundred of them in a single grove. The grass and un- 
husked corn was deep under the snow and only the trees were left for 
them to eat. The snow was from ten to twenty feet deep in all groves 
and this enabled the rabbits to reach the young and tender limbs. On 
the branches and bark of the trees the animals fed. The damage was 
great. Hunting parties were formed and large numbers of rabbits killed 
to save the trees. 

In Chery township a series of Demorest medal, contests were held 
during the forepart of the year and created great interest. 

In the latter part of October, the Stock P. O. was discontinued for a 
time because the postmaster resigned and moved away. 

The Templeton post office which had in the spring of 1889 been re- 
located on the northeast corner of section 35 in Harmony township, at 
the residence of C. G. Smith, postmaster, changed hands in the spring 
of 1896. by the resignation of Mr. Smith. Mr. J. R. Eddy, the new 
postmaster, purchased the house in which the office had been kept and 
moved it a half mile east where it was held until he could get permis- 
sion from the government to take it to his residence on the east side of 
section 25 of the same township. The permission was granted in June 
and the office continued its journey to the new postmaster's home. Mr. 
Eddy then purchased a stock of goods and opened what has even since 
been known as the Templeton store. 

The commencement exercises of 1896 at the Seminary occurred on 
June loth. The class had as members, Mary E. Huntley, F. Loren Kent, 
Roy Campbell, and Cora Sickler. 

About April ist C. W. Lane sold his Bank of Wessington Springs to 
H. J. Wallace and L. N. Loomis. 

The diploma and bronze medal, won by the Wessington Springs Sem- 
inary at the Chicago Worlds' Fair was received by the institution about 
the 20th of June. These mementos are still preserved among the treas- 
ures of the school. 

In August a co-operative grain company was formed at Wessington 
Springs with O. O. England, Prest., and R. S. Vessey, Sec; The purpose 
of this company was to furnish a grain and coal market in Wessington 
Springs during the fall and winter. In the following April the company 
dissolved, having accomplished its purpose. It had purchased over 
25,000 bu. of grain and handled 435 tons of coal. During the long, hard 
winter of 1896-97 the local market for coal afforded by this company re- 
lieved distress in hundreds of instances. 

On account of failing health Mr. and Mrs. J. K. Freeland resigned 
from the Seminary faculty in July and moved to California. 


About June 25th R. C. Smith opened a drug store at Wessington 
Springs, and also put in a stock of groceries. 

In July Mrs. J. M. Spears leased the Willard hotel to W. H. Rogers. 

After the death of Dr. E. L. Turner Wessington Springs was with- 
out a physician until Aug. 17, 1896, when Dr. G. S. Eddy located there. 

Sept. 15th J. W. Snart, who had been in business in Waterbury for 
a number of years purchased the J. D. Morse hardware business and 
building in Wessington Springs. 

During the first week in September the Congregationalist society 
began soliciting subscriptions with which to build a church in W^essington 

On Oct. 29th a strong M. W. A. camp was organized at Wessington 

About Nov. 20th F. M. Brown bought the J. A. Crawford black- 
smith shop. 

November 27th was a cold, w^indy day and the air was full of drifting" 
snow. But few people were on the streets of Wessington Springs and 
those fe^v were hurrying to get in somewhere. In the afternoon one after 
another of the business men dropped in at Albert & Vessey's store to 
chat and while away the time. In the course of the conversation the 
subject of a co-operative creamery was mentioned and preliminary steps 
were taken to form a company and get the concern in operation. Again, 
on Dec. 26th, another meeting was held, this time called for the purpose 
and a temporary organization perfected. 

By December 7th the snow had been blown about until it lay in 
ridges and drifts everywhere. The roads had been worn full of what 
was termed "chuck-holes" into which sleighs would plunge with great 
force, sometimes jerking the horses out of the road into the deep snow, 
or throwing the driver from his seat. The grade over the hills west of 
Wessington Springs had become badly cut up with these holes. On the 
day mentioned Geo. Homewood was driving down the grade with a 
sleigh load of 'sacks filled with wheat. As the sled pitched into one of the 
numerous holes some of the sacks were thrown forward on to the whiffle- 
trees. The team became frightened and instantly broke into a run. A 
moment later George was thrown from the load and the team crashed 
against the east side of the stone bridge and went over taking the load 
with them to the bottom of the ravine about twenty feet below. George 
escaped without injury, but one of the horses was killed by the fall. 

In 1896 interest in politics became intense. Every man was a politi- 
cian. Free silver vs. gold standard was discussed at public meetings in 
halls, in tents, in the open air. People gathered on the street corners 
and sidewalks in twos, threes and dozens and asserted or denied many 


things about which they knew but little. It was talked in the stores and 
shops, in the churches and homes, by the road side and in the fields. It 
was indeed a campaign of education. Men who had graduated from the 
best colleges in the land, and who could describe nearly every great cam- 
paign from the "retreat of the ten thousand," to the surrender of Lee at 
Appomottox found themselves confronted suddenly with a great national 
question, involving the civil and commercial history of the world. In a 
short time nearly all were compelled to admit their ignorance of the sub- 
ject and then they began to study. Probably at no other time in the 
history of the world have the voters given such earnest attention to a 
great public question as was given by the American people to the issues 
involved in the campaign of 1896. 

But two tickets were put in the field in Jerauld county. The populists 
held their convention on the 12th of September and after recommending 
the nomination of Jefferson Sickler of Harmony township for state sen- 
ator, put out the following county ticket : 

County Judge — J. H. May. 

Register of Deeds — P. T. Wirnum. 

Auditor — J. A. Paddock. 

Treasurer — M. A. Schaefer. 

Sheriff — A. Mercer. 

Clerk — S. S. Vrooman. 

Attorneys — J. R. Francis. 

Supt. of Schools — T. L. Wlute. 

Surveyor — O. J. Marshall. 

Coroner — F. T. Tofflemire. 

On the same day the commissioners district convention for the 2nd 
district nominated P. H. Shultz, of A^iola township for commissioner. 

Later at the legislative convention Mr. Sickler was nominated for the 
house of representatives. 

The Republicans named T. W. Lane, of Crow ti^wnship. for the senate 
and O. T. Dye, of Buffalo county, for tlie house. For the count}- ticket 
they named for 

Auditor — Ray Barber. 

Register of Deeds — D. F. Moulton. 

Sheriff— John E. White. 

Judge — C. D. Brown. 

Attorney — C. W. McDonald. 

Clerk of Courts — W. F. Bancroft. 

Supt. of Schools — Miss Anna Hanebuth, 

Treasurer — S. B. Tidd. 

Surveyor — H. J. Wallace. 


Coroner — Dr. G. S. Eddy. 

County Commissioner of 2nd district — H. C. Lyle of Anina township. 

The election was held Nov. 3rd and the entire Republican county 
ticket was defeated except D. F. Moulton, for register of deeds. 

J. W. Harden, of Franklin township, was named for secretary of 
state on the populist ticket, but shortly after receiving the nomination he 
suffered a stroke of paralysis which prevented his taking an active part 
in the campaign. Mr. Harden was one of the ablest debaters in the state 
and but for his unfortunate illness would probably have been elected. 

Chapter 9. 

The winter which began Oct. 29, 1896, held with almost unbroken 
vigor until the first of April, 1897, the thermometer registering 17 below 
zero on the 17th of March. 

During the winter there had been storms besides many days that were 
unpleasant. Many animals w'ere lost for want of hay that was buried 
under the great drifts of snow. In many cases the stacks of hay were 
buried and not found until the snow melted in the spring. Then man\- 
of the stacks were surrounded by water and ruined. As the snow 
melted every rivulet became a river in size. The trains of the James 
River division of the C. M. & St. P. were abandoned for several weeks. 
-Vt Alpena the mail was brought from Woonsocket on a hand car run 
by business men of the place. The mail and passengers from Woonsocket 
to Wessington Springs were carried across the Firesteel in a boat. ^Ir. 
Geo. Backus, publisher of the Sieve at Wessington Springs, printed his 
issue for April 2nd on any kind of paper he could get for the purpose, 
because his ready-prints could not be brought over the Firesteel. Ihe 
April meeting of the county commissioners was postponed because the 
high water rendered the roads impassable. 

With the new year prices of farm products and other commodities 
began to show an upward tendency. In March wheat was bringing 65c. 
oats 15c, and corn 20c; by the close of the year wheat had arisen to 70c 
per bushel. 

On January 6th, 1897, the board of county comiuissioners organized 
for the year by electing David McDowall chairman. During the sum- 
mer two bridges were built across Sand Creek in Alpena township by 
the county, one on the line between sections 18 and 19 and the other 
between sections 20 and 21. 


At the meeting of the commissioners in September, the annual 
estimate for county expenses for the ensuing year was made at $8502.10. 

On November i6th and 17th a two-days woman's suffrage conven- 
tion was held at Wessington Springs. This was a county aft'air, papers 
being read and addresses made by residents of the county. Only one 
address being made by a non-resident speaker. 

In July F. M. Steere moved into the county with 1600 head of sheep 
and rented the S. H. Albert farm and the school section in Wessington 
Springs township. 

On August 15th the county court house was struck by lightning. 
The bolt hit the flag staff that stood on the center of the roof and went 
through the lower flor of the building in two rooms but made no marks 
except a small hole in the center of the state attorney's office, and a little 
splintering of the floor in the office of the state attorney and county 
superintendent. The wires that held up the stove pipes in these two 
rooms Avere melted. It was on Sunday and no one was in the building. 
Xot a shingle on the roof was injured, although the flag-staff was shat- 

The old settlers picnic for the western part of Jerauld county was 
again held at Waterbury, on the nth of June. 

At the election held in November but one county officer was elected 
and that was a commissioner from the first district. The populists nom- 
inated Air. F. A. Olin, of Blaine township, and the Republicans named 
y. E. Reynolds of Franklin. But little interest was taken in the election, 
pjut little more than half of the populist vote was pooled in the four 
townships, otherwise their candidate would have been elected. 

At the close of the spring term of the public school at xA.lpena Prof. 
O. W. Coursey presented diplomas to the graduating class in which were 
Misses Alinnie Yegge, Effie Barber, Fannie PogiKey, Lottie Pogney, May 
Royer and Mr. John Knolt. 

The county normal institute was held July 5th to 15th at Wessington 
Springs, Prof. J. W. Jones, jr., being the conductor, assisted by Geo. 
0- Williams and O. W. Coursey, principal of the Alpena school. 

A few days after the close of the county institute Mr. Coursey opened 
a normal school at Alpena, which he conducted until the ist of Sep- 

One of the great events of the year in the county was the G. A. R. 
district encampment which was held at Wessington Springs on the 2nd. 
3rd, and 4th of July. 

In January Bert Healey, who* had for several years been proprietor 
of a grocery store at Waterbury opened a harness shop in J. W. Snart's 
hardware store. In July Mr. Healey moved his building and stock from 
Waterbury to Wessington Springs and started what he afterward devel- 


The "Blue Jays." 

The Bobolinks. 


oped into one of the most complete racket stores in this part of the state. 
This ended the commercial life of the old town of Waterbury. 

Wessington Springs seems to have had a hard time of it in getting" a 
co-operative creamery established. Another meeting to discuss the sub- 
ject was held on the 14th of Jvily, but with no immediate results. 

In Logan township the creamery project was pushed and by the close 
of the year arrangements had been completed for the establishment of 
a strictly modern creamery early in the succeeding spring. The foundation 
for the building was finished during the forepart of December, and the 
building material purchased and during the winter placed on the ground 
at Glen. The mason work for the structure was done by Anton Reindl 
of Crow Lake township. 

In August, 1897, J. W. Snart having resigned the position of post- 
master at Waterbury, Mr. W. E. Waterbury was appointed to the posi- 
tion. 'Mr. Snart had held the position since the 17th day of March, 1886. 

At Alpena Richard Davenport succeeded Geo. D. Canon as postmaster 
on May 8th. 

Mr. A. F. Smith purchased the mercantile business of Manwaring" 
Bros., taking possession Dec. ist. 

In Viola township the German church society began work on the 
foundation of their church building in December. 

The Wessington Springs Seminary graduated the class of 1897 on 
the 8th day of June. The members were Myrtle G. Price. Abbie F. 
A\'hitney. Esther V. Danburg, Lucy A. Hartman, \'ivian Hill, William 
F. Adabar, Simeon J. Whitney and Parker F. Whitney. 

During the year 1897 F. M. Brown and N. P. Peterson worked at 
the blacksmith business as partners in Wessington Springs. 

About the, middle of June R. C. Smith sold his drug and grocery stock 
to Charles Jewell and M. A, Schaefer. 

In the spring Mr. R. Vanderveen succeeded to the business of the 
Co-operative Grain Co. at Wessington Springs and added a stock of 
lumber. About the same time W. N. Flill, also began handling grain, 
coal and lumber. 

In Julv C. N. Hall purcliased the stock of confectionery of A\'. F. 

In the same month a camp of Sons of Veterans was established in 
Wessington Springs. 

About the ist of October C. S. Jacobs began work at the harness 
Imsiness in the building built by Jas. F. Ford in 1883. This is now man- 
aged by ^Ir. Jacobs' son. C. L. Jacobs in another Imilding. 

The Free Methodist conference of the state was held at Wessington 
Springs, beginning Oct. 6th. 


Dr. G. S. Eddy changed his location in October from Wessington 
Springs to Anaheim. CaHfornia, and the county seat was again without 
a physician. 

On November 27th the UniversaUsts, who had been holding their 
services in the school house, held a meeting to mature their plans for 
building a church. A location committee was appointed and the taking 
of subscriptions carried on. 

During the year the Wessington Springs ball nine played a number 
of games with teams from surrounding towns and made a record of 
which the community was very proud. The team attended the tourna- 
ment at Kimball and won the first prize, defeating the club from Plankin- 
ton and also the one from Gann Valley. 

In the latter part of April W. H. Rogers closed the Willard Hotel at 
AVessington Springs and the building was then rented by Wm. Brodkorb. 
who took possesion about the first of ~Slay. 

Chapter 10. 

1898. The new board of county commissioners was organized on 
January 3rd by the election of D. B. Paddock, of the third district, 

Some idea of the rental value of Jerauld county wild land at this time 
may be obtained from the fact that 240 acres owned by the county in 
sections 27 and 28 in Media township were leased by the board to J. ^^'- 
Barnum in April for a term of three years at five dollars per annum. 
There seemed to be no basis from which to fix values of any kind of 
property. Wheat, in March, sold at 80 cents per bushel and soon after 
went to $1.00, but in September it was selling at 45c to 50c. A horse 
for a cow was considered a good trade. Yet in the month of February 
the county treasurer collected $10,000 in taxes, the largest sum ever col- 
lected in one month up to that time, in the history of the county. The 
assessors' returns from the various townships reported the total valuation 
of real and personal property in the county at $1,001,339. Upon this 
amount the county board, in September, levied a tax of, county fund, 7 
mills : bridge fund, 2 mills ; sinking fund, 2 mills ; general county fund. 
2 mills ; state tax, 3 mills ; making a total of 16 mills. The county debt 
was rapidly decreasing and warrants rose to 98 cents on the dollar. At 
the September meeting the county commissioners transferred $1000 from 
the bridge fund to the general county fund. 


In the mail service of the county some changes were made during 
the year. The contracts for carrying the mail over the different routes 
leading from Wessington Springs were let iy January, to take effect the 
first of July. The route to Woonsocket, daily, was let to Wm. Keene at 
$120 per year; to Aliller, N. J. Tutts, twice a week, $386; to Crow Lake, 
twice a week, G. Cowles, $194.59; to Waterbur}^, daily, G. Cowles,. 
$414.59; to Mount Vernon, twice a week, J. E. Franklin, $308.07. ~\Ir. 
Franklin failed to meet the requirements of his contract on the first of 
July and G. X. Price continued the service until the first of September, 
when Andrew Mercer took the route, which had been changed from Mt. 
Vernon to Mitchell. A new route was established between Crow Lake 
and Glen with H. P. Will of Logan township, carrier. 

On October ist W. F. Bancroft succeeded Mrs. Eva Whitneiy as post- 
master in the Wessington Springs office. 

The only change among the newspapers of the county in the year 
1898 was at Alpena, where ]\Ir. Lou Knowles succeeded H. T. Griggs. 
Sept. 9th as publisher of the Journal. 

The county teachers' institute was held at the Seminary chapel in 
Wessington Springs June 13th to i8th, with A. H. Avery, of Woon- 
socket, conductor, and Geo. O. Williams and Miss White as assistants. 

The old settlers' picnic was held at the farm of Geo. W. Burger in 
Crow township on June 24. 

During the year the Alpena co-operative creamery had been a great 
success. The manager's report showed that from Dec. ist, 1897 to Dec. 
I, 1898, the creamery had taken in 1,149,618 pounds of milk, made 50,364 
pounds of butter, for which it had received $7,853.44 and paid to its 
patrons $6,087.07. The farmers elevator company had been equally suc- 
cessful and during the season shipped fifty cars of grain and paid to its 
patrons $16,500. 

At Wessington Springs, during the fourteen months that followed 
tlie meeting at Albert & Vessey's store on the 27th of November, 1896, 
Geo. W. Backus, editor of the Sieve, continually agitated the subject of 
establishing a creamery at that place. At length he succeeded in getting 
the business men sufficiently interested to form an organization, and in 
January and February, 1898, arrangements were completed for building- 
and equipping a co-operative creamery at Wessington Springs, with a 
capital stock of $8,000.00. The first regular meeting of the stock holders 
was held February 10, 1898, when Chas. Walters. C. S. Barber, H. C. 
Lyle, Richard Vanderveen, W. H. McMillan, C. Knudson and Geo. 
Home wood were made directors, T. L. White, manager, H. J. W^allace, 
treasurer, and C. ,S. Barber, president. On the 22nd of February Mr. 
White resigned as manager and R. Vanderveen was elected to the 

Second Graduating Class at Alpena. 

T. L. White. 

C. S. Jacobs. 


vacancy, Mr. Vanderveen resigned as director, and Geo. R. Bateman was 
put in his place. The contract for putting up the building was made with 
E. L. Smith. The total cost of the plant when completed was $2,679.21. 
The institution was opened for business on the i6th day of May. 

At Glen P. O., in Logan township, the people pushed forward their 
creamery project with a good deal of energy and by the first of April the 
plans were all completed and they were waiting for warmer weather to 
commence operations. Mr. T. A. Butterfield, of Burt, Iowa, was em- 
ployed as butter-maker, and on May 3rd the first milk was received. 

In March a creamery skimming station was established at Campbell's 
artesian well in Blaine township with Wm. Brownell as manager. It 
was run in connection with the Woonsocket creamery. 

In January, 1898, R. S. Vessey, of Wessington Springs and J. D. 
Chamberlain, of Alpena, began a move to get a telephone line extended 
from Woonsocket to both the Jerauld county towns, but the plan was 
not put in operation until the next year. 

The year 1898 saw young cattle advance to prices that bordered on 
the ridiculous. It was not uncommon to see yearling animals sell for 
$23 to $28 per head. Large numbers of steers were brought into the 
country and sold to farmers, . on contract, and at prices that 
almost rendered a profitable deal impossible. Whole train loads 
at a time were brought into Alpena and contracted, 50 to 100 
in a bunch to any one who could get control of range enough for grazing. 
Before winter set in thousands of animals were delivered back to the 
companies from whom they had been obtained, but not often with any 
profit to the man who had cared for the cattle during the summer months. 
From Alpena, alone, 165 cars of cattle were shipped to Sioux City and 
other markets. The same business was continued during the succeeding 
two years. 

During the forepart of the year several literary societies were con- 
ducted in the county districts. In Chery township these, entertainments 
took the form of "spelling schools." At the Webber school in Anina 
township, and also in Blaine township the societies were for the purposes 
of debates and recitations. In Alpena township at the Sand Creek school 
house a night school for the study of German language was held every 
Monday and Tuesday evening. At Wessington Springs a literary society 
was organized that was continued during several winters. 

In the church circles of the county there was considerable activity 
during the year. In Viola township the German M. E. building was com- 
pleted by the middle of February and a few weeks later a fine bell was 
sending forth its tones from the belfry arch. The building was dedicated 
June 1 2th, Rev. Hein pastor. The dedicatory sermon was by Rev. Kaste, 


of Redfield, presiding elder, and sermons were also preached by Rev. C. 
Schiilz, of Charles City, Iowa, and Dr. McLean. The congregation de- 
rived great satisfaction from the fact that the building was dedicated 
free of debt. On the i6th of the following October Rev. Hein was suc- 
ceeded as pastor by Rev. Westphal. 

At Alpena a ladies aid society was organized in connection with the 
M. E. church, Dec. 30th, with Mrs. Davenport, president. The charter 
members were Mrs. R. Davenport, Mrs. A. F. Smith, Mrs. R. H. Stokes, 
Mrs. T. Welch, Mrs. Alice Smith, Mrs. T. A. Thompson and Mrs. R. 
T. Blank. 

In Marlar township Sabbath School was re-organized on March 6th 
at school house No. i. 

On March 26th the Free Methodist church formed a new conference 
district, composed of the Alpena, Bates, Sweetland and Wessington 
Springs circuits. 

On March ist W. W. Smith located at Wessington Springs and re- 
mained the local physician for several years. 

A fire company was organized at Wessington Springs in April with 
W. F. Bancroft as chief. This was the first organized fire company in 
the county. 

May 30th, Decoration Day, had from the first organization of the G. 
A. R. in the county been duly observed at Alpena, Waterbury and Wes- 
sington Springs. But up to this time Alpena had felt the want of a 
suitable place upon which to raise the national colors. It was therefore 
determined to erect a flag pole in the main street of the village. A pole 
was prepared and on the morning of Decoration Day it was put in place 
and the flag hung at halfmast in honor of the nation's hero dead. 

The Congregationalists and the Universalists each began building a 
foundation for a church at Wessington Springs in July. The former 
laid the cornerstone of their edifice on July 23rd, but did not begin work 
on the superstructure until in September. The Universalists had com- 
pleted their building and held the first services therein on Nov. 27th. 
The Congregationalists held watch meeting in their new church Dec. 

About the 15th of February L. N. Loomis sold his interest in the Bank 
of Wessington Springs to H. J. Wallace, who took his son D. C. Wal- 
lace into the business, the banking firm being thereafter known as H. J. 
Wallace & Son. 

The commencement exercises of the Wessington Springs Seminar}- 
for the class of 1898 were held on June 7th. Diplomas were granted to 
Edith H. Hill. Fannie C. Miller, Cora I. Horsley. Fred N. Dunham, 

Sadie E. Dixon, Edith E. Whitney, Edith J. Vrooman, IMabelle E. Hunt- 
ley, Anton P. Matson and Delia L. Harlow. 

May 2 1 St a meeting- was held at Woodburn Hall to organize a military 
company to be in readiness for a further call for soldiers in case one 
should be made for service in the war with Spain, which had been de- 
clared in April. As a result of this meeting a company was formed with 
51 members, T. L. White, captain; Criss Spears, ist Lieutenant and Wm. 
Brodkorb, 2nd Lieutenant. 

At Alpena O. W. Coursey resigned his position in the public school 
and accompanied by Jerry Turman, went to Sioux Falls as soon as the 
president issued the call for troops, and became members of the ist 
South Dakota Regiment, which rendered distinguished service in the 
Philipine Islands. 

Although neither of the villages in Jerauld county celebrated the 
national holiday, yet the day was generally observed. At Crow Lake 
the people gathered at the residence of Dr. S. H. Melcher for a picnic 
celebration. In Viola township a large crowd gathered at the P. H. Shultz 
homestead and enjoyed a picnic celebration. The same observance of 
the day occurred in Harmony township at the residence of Eugene Cole- 
man. At Glen, in Logan township, a large concourse assembled and 
enjoyed races, ball games and other sports. In Franklin township a 
picnic was held at the residence of J. W. Harden. At Wessington Springs 
two celebrations were in progress at the same time. The LTniversalists 
had a large tent near the grove in which patriotic speeches were made. 
followed by a picnic dinner while a number of Sabbath schools united in 
a celebration in the Bateman Gulch south of town. The day passed with 
no extreme manifestation of enthusiasm until the stage driver in the 
evening brought the news of the naval victory at Santiago. Then the 
bonfires flamed, the anvils roared, the rockets pierced the sky and the great 
event was celebrated as fully as it was possible to do in a little country 
village in the heart of the great plains. 

On June 21st, 22nd and 23rd the Epworth League held a sub-district 
convention at Wessington Springs. 

Sept. 1st Andrew Mercer retired from the Woodburn House at Wes- 
sington Springs and was succeeded by J. J. Hillis of Alpena. 

F. M. Brown purchased of Wm. Kline his blacksmith shop, and barn 
Sept. loth. This building Mr. Brown afterward enlarged and made into 
the livery barn that now stands on the east side of 2nd street north of 
Vessey Bros, store. 

About the 15th of October R. M. McNeil bought the J. W. Snart 
hardware store. A few days later Bert Healey moved his harness shop 
and notion goods to a small building he had moved from Waterbury to 


Wessington Springs and placed it on the south side of Alain Street west 
of 2nd street. 

In poHtics the situation began early in the season to show symptoms 
of change. In September both parties put tickets in the field. The 
populist ticket was as follows : 

Senator — J. AI. Spears. 

Representative — G. S. Xelson. 

Register of Deeds — Gus Johnson. 

Treasurer — T. L. White. 

Sheriff — Pat McDonald. 

Auditor — Wra. Zink. 

Clerk of Courts — S. S. A'rooman. 

Judge— J. H. Alay. 

Attorney — J. R. Francis. 

County Superintendent — Geo. O. Williams. 

Coroner — W. W. Smith. 

Surveyor — O. J. ■Marshall. 

County Com.. 3rd district. — B. R. Shimp. 

The Republican ticket named for 

Senator — L. N. Loomis. 

Representative — J. V. Drips. 

Treasurer — F. S. Coggshall. 

Auditor — D. B. Paddock. 

Register of Deeds — D. F. Moulton. 

Sherifif— John E. White. 

Clerk of Courts — W. F. Taylor. 

Attorney — C. W. McDonald. 

County Supt. E. H. Wood. 

Judge — C. D. Brown. 

Coroner — W. W. Smith. 

Surveyor — H. J. Wallace. 

County Com., 3rd Dist. — M. A. Shaw. 

The election was held on the 8th of November with the following- 
result : 

Senator — L. N. Loomis. 

Representative — G. S. Nelson. 

Treasurer — T. L. White. 

Auditor — Wm. Zink. 

Register of Deeds — D. F. Moulton. 

Sherifif— Pat McDonald. 

County Supt. — E. H. Wood. 


Attorney — C. W. McDonald. 
Clerk of Courts — W. F. Taylor. 
Judge — C. D. Brown. 
Coroner — W. W. Smith. 
Surveyor — H. J. Wallace. 
County Commissioner — AI. A. Shaw. 

Equal sufifrage, which was submitted at this election, carried the 
county by 218 to 150. 

Dispensary Liquor Law carried the county by 243 to 132. 
Initiative and Referendum carried the county by 270 to 96. 

Chapter II. 

The county commissioners did little but routine work in the year 
1899. During that time Treasurer T. L. White called in all the out- 
standing warrants, and as there were no bonds outstanding the county 
began doing business on a cash basis. The board re-organized on the 
/th of January by electing P. H. Shultz, of the 2nd commissioner district, 

April 4th the board granted to the Dakota Southern Telephone Co. 
the right to set telephone poles on the edges of the highways of the 
county, but not so as to obstruct the use of the public roads. On April 
10th the work of setting poles for the line from Woonsocket to Wessing- 
ton Springs commenced and was completed in August. 

At a special meeting the forepart of May the commissioners appropri- 
ated S600 to be loaned to people who had suffered loss by the terrible 
prairie fires that raged during the latter part of April, and later ap- 
propriated $100 to help pay the expense of bringing the ist South Da- 
kota Regiment home from San Francisco. 

During the year the Jerauld county board arranged with the com- 
missioners of Brule county to put in a fifty-four foot steel bridge across 
Smith Creek on the south line of Logan township to cost $100, each 
county paying one half the expense. The bridge was completed in 

On Sept. 5th the board made the lowest tax levy in the history of 
the county as follows : State tax 2 and two-fifths mills ; county general. 
6 mills; bridge fund, i mill; sinking fund, i mill. 

On April 7th and again on Oct. 7th the board transferred $1000 from 
the bridge fund to the county general fund. 

26 1 

Raising the Flag Pole in Alpena 1898. 



H|B Br' 

- ° • 1 * 


.'Upeiia 1908. 


Politics attracted but little attention in 1899 as only a county com- 
missioner from the 2nd district was to be elected. The populists re- 
nominated P. H. Shultz of A^'iola township and the republicans named 
John Grant of Wessington Springs township. ]Mr. Shultz was re-elected. 

The county teachers' institute began August 21st and continued two 

June 13th the old settlers picnic was held at the residence of O. O. 
England in Harmony township. 

Among the newspapers of the county two changes were made during 
the year. J. W. Sheppard succeeding G. W. Backus in the editorial man- 
agement of the Sieve on February loth, and E. M. Cochran following 
Lou Knowles on the Alpena Journal Dec. 29th. 

As the flocks of sheep enabled many settlers to retain their home 
during the hard times, so the creameries slowly but surely started the 
farming communities on the way to prosperity. A few cows living on the 
prairie grass, furnished milk that, sold to a creamery, enabled the farmer 
to keep up his bills at the local store and meet his small necessary cash 
outlay. All through the year 1899 grain prices continued low, wheat 
about 50 cents, and corn 15 to 20 cents per bushel. In December wheat 
at Alpena was selling at 49 cents per bushel, while a dollar would only 
purchase sixteen pounds of sugar. Wages of all kinds were correspond- 
ingly low. The average teacher's wages for the county including the 
village schools was but $29 per month. The cattle business reached its 
highest point that year (1899), over 4000 head being contracted to farm- 
ers at Alpena alone between January ist and April ist. But while the 
cattle business was speculative and unprofitable, in the way it was con- 
ducted, dairying was a legitimate part of farm industry. 

The Alpena and Glen creameries were kept in operation all through 
the winter of 1898-99, but the one at Wessington Springs was closed 
during the cold season. A skimming station was established at Charles 
\A'alter"s artesian well in A'iola township and another at Albert's artesian 
well in Chery township, both being in connection with the W^essington 
.Si)rings creamery, and both rvm by well power. 

On January i6th A. M. Slocum opened a photograjDh gallery at Wes- 
sington Springs. This was the first permanent studio in the county. 

Among the mail carriers some changes were made during the year. 
About x\pril 15th James Weast took the route from Wessington Springs 
to Waterbury, In June Howard Pope became proprietor of the Woon- 
socket stage line, but sold it to W. V. Dixon about August 15th. 

Sometime in the forepart of May Wm. Brodkorb returned to his 
grocery business at the corner of ]\Iain and 3rd streets, and was succeeded 
in the Willard Hotel by his son Herman. About the first of July the 


hotel was leased to J. J. Hillis, who ran it in connection with the Wood- 
burn House. At this time Herman Brodkorb purchased his father's 
grocery business,, and on the evening of the 4th of July Wm. Brodkorb, 
Sr.. started on a trip to his Fatherland with no definite plans as to wdien 
he would return. He was absent from Wessington Springs just ten 

Both, the Congregational and Universalist churches were dedicated 
this year, the former on the i8th of October, and the latter on the i8th 
of June. 

The class of 1899 was graduated from the Seminary June 21st. The 
members were James H. Hall, Eva J. Whitney, Lawrence A. Pinard, J. 
Irving McNeil, Edna R. Vroomann and W. A. Harden. 

By this time the Wessington Springs public school had grown until 
the school building erected by E.' L. Smith in 1884 was too small to ac- 
commodate the number of pupils. On the 30th of August the people 
voted to build another and larger school house and bonds were issued for 
that purpose. The new house was built on the east side of 3rd street op- 
posite the Universalist church, by Mr. C. P. Christensen, and the school 
took possession of it Dec. i8th. The old school house was sold for $151 
to the German Lutheran church of Alpena and Franklin townships, who 
moved and used it for religious purposes. After the founding of the 
town of Lane the old school house was moved to that place, where it is 
still in use as a church. 

On the 2nd of September the whole county was shocked and grieved 
by the sudden death of H. J. Wallace, the W^essington Springs banker. 
After the death of Mr. Wallace the bank was continued by his son D. C. 
Wallace, until September 20th, when the institution was purchased by R. 
S. Vessey, J. H. Woodburn and F. G. Vessey. 

The principal celebrations in the county on the 4th of July were at 
Glen, in Logan township, and at Chas. Walter's residence in Viola. 

At Alpena J. D. Chamberlain engaged in the farm implement business 
and in the course of the year put up a warehouse for his stock of ma- 
chinery and later put up another building in which he placed a stock of 
furniture. That was the beginning of the furniture business in Alpena. 
In November he sold a half interest in the machinery business to Her- 
man Scheel. 

July 15th was a "red letter" day for Alpena school township. In 
March the treasurer had called in all the outstanding school warrants, 
and on this day in July the board had obtained possession of all school 
township bonds and with appropriate ceremony all the old warrants and 
bonds were publicly burned. The school township was free from debt. 


In February a series of revival meetings were held by Rev. T. Do- 
noghne at the Eastman school house in the southern part of Alpena town- 

In Dale township Mr. Ernest Schmidt had employed W. P. Shulz to 
put down an artesian well which was completed in November. 

Sometime in April Dr. J. E. Shull opened an office in Alpena and 
was soon after joined by his partner Dr. Bullock. The firm continued 
until about Aug. ist, when Dr. Bullock retired from the practice in Al- 

Chapter 12. 


The year that closed the 19th century began i'l an exc-cdingly mild 
and open winter. No snow and but little cold wea+her. '^ev^ral games 
of baseball were played in different parts of the county during Jariuary 
and February. In many of the business houses the files ^v•ere allowed to 
go out and the outer doors left open. No one in Jerauld county had a 
sleigh ride that winter. 

The County commissioners reorganized January 2nd by electing J. 
E. Reynolds, of the first district, as chairman. In August Mr. Reynolds 
was taken with a very severe attack of typhoid fever that incapacitated 
him for any further service on the board. 

In the forepart of January the board made an agreement with R. 
S. Vessey, manager of the Dakota Southern Telephone Company, to put 
a 'phone in the county treasurer's office, to be used by all county officials 
and the public in the village of Wessington Springs, for a rental of $20 
per year. 

At Alpena the first farmers institute in the county, under the auspices 
of the state, was held January 30th and 31st. 

On ]\Iay 14th Joseph Ponsford was given a contract for the con- 
struction of a bridge across Crow Creek in Crow township. The work 
was completed in time to be accepted by the count}- commissioners and 
paid for at the meeting in September. 

The county commissioners on Oct. 3rd, acting under a law, the enact- 
ment of which had been secured by Senator Loomis in 1898, reduced the 
salary of the county attorney for the next two years to $100 per year. 

About three o'clock in the morning of October 13, fire was discovered 
in the county jail and the building was soon destroyed. The origin of the 
fire, though strongly suspected, was never certainly known. 


Robt. E. Dye. 

Dr. J. E. ShuU. 

Joseph H. May. 

L. X. Eoouiis. 

O. O. Eiio-laiid. 


The assessors" returns from the various townships gave the assessed 
valuation of all the real estate and personal property of the county in 1900 
at $1,102,536. The tax levy for the years was as follows: State 2 seven- 
tenths mills ; county 3 mills ; bridge five-tenths mills ; insane i mill. 

The total number of school children in the county at this time was 
909; school houses, 57, and the cost of schools, $25,200.57. 

The county teachers' institute began June i8th and continued two 
weeks with Prof. Doderer as conductor. 

The old settlers' picnic was held June 26th at Foster Grove in 
Pleasant township, on section five. 

During the year the prices of farm produce remained low, but land 
values began to show a decided advance. In the east part of the county 
several quarter sections were sold at from $800 to $1,500 per quarter. 
At this time the only real estate man in the county actively engaged in 
the business, was O. J. Marshall, who was also a bonded abstractor. 

Late in the autumn a disease, known as the cornstalk disease, broke 
out among the farm herds of cattle, all over the northwestern states. 
In Jerauld county the loss was quite heavy. 

August loth the governor appointed ]\Ir. N. AI. Thompson of Alpena 
game warden for Jerauld county to serve one year. 

Business changes were few in the county during the year 1900, and 
but few improvements of any kind were made. In Chery township Wm. 
Kline, assisted by W. P. Shulz, completed Iris artesian well about Dec. 
1st and in Marlar Dr. J. E. Shull began the task of drilling a similar well 
on his ranch in the northeast part of the township. This last effort con- 
tinued for many months and was finally abandoned after the drill had 
been driven to a depth of over 1,725 feet. 

In Chery Township a new school house was built to replace the one 
that had been destroyed by fire in April. 1899. 

In the mail service of the county but little change was made. The 
Sullivan P. O. in Anina Township was discontinued. In the west part 
of the county a short star route was established from Waterbury to 
Gann A^alley with Mark Abermathy as mail carrier. April ist A. ]\I. 
Slocum became mail carrier on the Wessington Springs-W'aterbury route. 

The Woodburn House, at Wessington Springs, was purchased by 
Carl Hall Feb. 5th, and the name changed to "The Carlton House." 
Hall retained charge of the hotel until April 17th, when Miss Chandler 
and her mother rented it and cantinued its management until the fore- 
part of Sept., when it passed into the hands of A. C. Parfitt. About Dec. 
15th A. J. Evans became landlord of the Carlton House and remained in 
charge of it for several months. 


On I'>briiary 23rd, 1900, J. W. Sheppard retired from the editorial 
management of "The Sieve" and was succeeded by A. J. Evans. 

About the first of March Mr. O. O. England purchased a carload of 
furniture, and with his son and daughter, G. T. England, and M. Delia 
England, opened a furniture store in a building erected by Joseph Wei- 
bold on the southwest corner of I\Iain and Third streets. This was the 
beginning of the furniture and undertaking business in Wessington 
Springs which with careful management has now become large and 

Sometime in January Nate Spears bought the confectionery business 
of Howard Pope and for a short time thereafter ran it in connection with 
his barber shop. 

On ]\Iay 7th C. W. England sold to D. B. Olson his tobacco and 
■confectioner}' business and retired from business in Jerauld county. 

A district encampment of the G. A. R. occurred at Wessington Springs 
on July 3rd, 4th and 5th. 

At that time there were standing on the south side of INIain Street 
between. 2nd and 3rd streets the old Thayer Bank building, occupied by 
C. W. AIcDonald, Bert Healey's notion store, M. A. Schafer's drug and 
grocery store and two small office buildings. Before daylight on the 
morning of the 6th of July fire broke out in the Schaefer building. It 
with all the other buildings in the row were destroyed. A few months 
later E. L. Smith and O. J. Marshall put up a double store building on 
the ground where the burned structures had stood. Into one room of 
the new building Mr. Healey again opened a notion store on Dec. ist, 
1900. and about the same time Air. Bancroft moved the post office and 
the True Republican printing office into the other room. 

The Willard Hotel was rented about the 15th of July by Mrs. Coffin, 
who occupied it during the ensuing year. 

The state conference of the Free Methodist Church was held at Wes- 
sington Springs Oct. 3rd to 7th. 

About November ist O. O. England sold his hardware store building 
and stock to Wm. Kennedy and son, Alexander- 
December 1st HQward Pope and Air. Mennill opened a blacksmith 
and woodwork shop in a building then standing on the south side of Main 
street east of the Vessey store. They set up a feed mill, which was run 
with power furnished by a geared windmill. 

At Alpena J. D. Chamberlain opened a hardware store with a stock 
he had obtained in a real estate deal. The D. H. Wood hardware store 
was sold by that gentleman on July i6th to Grant Anderson, who has 
continued the business to the present time. 


On June i6th Andrew ^Mercer purchased of John Woods the Alpena 
meat market. 

At 7 o'clock on Wednesday evening, Dec. 5th, 1900, the first ring of 
a telephone bell was heard in Alpena and the village was then in close 
touch with all the surrounding towns. 

In the fall of the year the Sioux Falls brewing company attempted 
to establish a wholesale and retail liquor store in Alpena, but the concern 
was of short duration. 

The Wessington Springs school house which had been purchased for 
church purpose by the Ev. Luth. Zion Church and moved to the south 
part of Alpena Township, was dedicated Alay 13th, 1900, with Rev. Lack 
as pastor. 

Rev. R. A. Brough was engaged as pastor of the Presbyterian Church 
in Alpena, beginning his work on ]\Iay 13th. The conference appointee 
for the M. E. Church, made in October, was Rev. W. B. Stewart. 

The year 1900 being the time for a presidential election the Repub- 
licans of Jerauld County hoped to recover some more of the political 
field that had so long been occupied by their opponents. The election, 
though lacking much of the bitterness that had characterized former cam- 
paigns, was hotly contested for the more important offices. The tickets 
placed in nomination were as follows : 

Republican : 

Senator — L. N. Loomis. 

Representative — A. J. Wooledge. 

Treasurer — Geo. R. Bateman. 

Auditor— W. H. McIMillan. 

Register of Deeds — W. B. Wilson. ' 

Attorney — N. J. Dunham. 

Sherifif — Wm. Brodkorb. 

Judge— C. W. McDonald. 

Clerk of Courts — W. F. Taylor. 

County Supt. — E. H. W^ood. 

Coroner — Dr. J. E. Shull. 

Commissioner, ist Dist. — Gus. A. Newman. 


Senator — Jefferson Sickler. 

Representative — G. S. Nelson. 

Treasurer — T. L. White. 

Auditor — Wm. Zuik. 

Register of Deeds — Weslev Brownell. 


Sheriff — Chas. A. Knudson. 

Clerk of Courts — S. S. Vrooman. 

Judge — Daniel Mitchell. 

County Supt. — Abbie Whitney.' 

Attorney — John R. Francis. 

Coroner — J. E. Shull. 

County Com., ist Dist. — R. J. Tracy. 

The election occurred on Nov. 6th, with the result that the Populists 
retained the offices of Treasurer, Auditor, Sheriff and Attorney. The 
balance of the places were filled by the Republicans. The Prohibitionists 
had nominated a full legislative and county ticket but practically dropped 
the contest in the early part of the campaign. 

Chapter 13. 


With the beginning of the century an era of business activity set in 
that, probably, has never been equaled. In the Dakotas this was most 
noticable in the rapid selling of real estate. Land prices doubled and 
doubled again, before people began to realize that the long deferred 
"boom" had struck the great prairie country. Men who had complained 
that they were "land poor" suddenly found themselves rich beyond their 
most optimistic dreams. But few people realize how much of this was 
due to the real estate men. Every village and city became the head- 
quarters of from two to a dozen dealers in South Dakota land. Prior to 
1901 nearly all the real estate business of the county had been done by 
O. J. Alarshall of Wessington Springs ; but during that year D. C. Wal- 
lace, located at Alpena, and F. M. Steere, at Wessington Springs, formed 
a partnership in the real estate business and during the year sold an 
immense acreage to buyers from other states. John Chamberlain, L. N. 
Loomis and Ray Barber, all of Alpena, engaged actively in the business 
at that point, while D. F. Moulton and R. S. Vessey each had an office 
at the county seat. Later the National Land Co. oi^ened office at Alpena 
with L. Elliott and A. C. Doubenmier, managers. The method of hand- 
ling was such as to force the price upward. The agent required the 
owner to put a net price on his land. The real estate broker then sold 
the land at whatever he could get above the owner's ])rice, taking the 
excess as commission. In this way fortunes were made in a few years by 
both buvers and brokers. 


The rapid sales of land called for men to do abstracing, and bonded 
abstractors were located in every county seat. In Jerauld County C. W. 
McDonald filed his bond as an abstractor in April and soon had all he 
could do it that line. In July the Jerauld County Abstract Co. was 

The numerous land deals were of great benefit to the county in the 
collection of delinquent personal and real estate taxes, which were a lien 
on the land and must be paid before an abstract could show a clear title. 

But land prices were not the only evidences of prosperity. Mortgage 
sales of all kinds ceased almost entirely except in a few cases where fore- 
closure was necessary to perfect a land title. The price of farm products 
began to go up. In October wheat was selling at 52c ; corn 40c ; hogs 
$6.10; butter 13c; eggs 15c. The creameries were the greatest sources of 
wealth aside from the rise in the value of land. At Alpena the creamery 
took in over two million pounds of milk and made almost 89,000 pounds 
of butter during the year 1901. In January, 1901, the Glen Creamery 
reported that during the preceeding year it had paid to its patrons 
$11,836.13, while the institution at Wessington Springs did an equally 
good business. In the banks of the county the deposits increased to 
^■22.00 per capita of the county population. In Alpena, for the first time 
in several years all four grain elevators were in operation handling the 
immense crop produced that year. The county treasurer's report made 
in January, 1901, showed that during the preceeding three months the 
county had not paid out a dollar for relief of the poor and during the 
next three months the amount expended for that purpose was but $7.65- 

At Glen, in Logan Township, !Mr. Frick was compelled to add twenty 
feet to the length of his store building to accommodate his growing busi- 
ness. At the Walter's skimming station in Viola Township ]\Ir. Otto 
Wagner built a store in the forepart of the season and for some time 
drove a good trade in such articles as the farmers needed. 

In county matters but little occurred outside of routine business. The 
board reorganized January 3rd, by electing P. H. Shultz, commissiouor 
from the second district, chairman. At this meeting the board decided to 
build an addition to the court house and put in another vault. It was als<-> 
necessary to rebuild the jail and repair the cells. The contract for put- 
ting up the two buildings was let to Samuel Marlenee, the total cost being 
about $2,500. It was planned to build the new jail on ■^"'e block south 
of the Willard Hotel, but a strongly signed petition from the people of 
the town resulted in placing the building on the hill near the coutt hotise. 
where- it now stands. 

On November i8th, 1901, the county commissioners acting c.> road 
viewers reported in favor of opening a highway beginning at the half- 


Alpena 1899. 

Alpena Band. 


section corner post between sections 20 and 21 in Media Township and 
running east through the center of sections 21, 22 and 23 to half -section 
corner post between sections 23 and 24, thence north one mile, thence east 
80 rods to end of lane, which is 80 rods east of half-section corner be- 
tween 13 and 14. They also reported in favor of abandoning the high- 
way between sections 16 and 21 ; 15 and 22; 14 and 23; 21 and 28; 22 
and 27. 

On the evening of April 22nd a young man, riding one horse and 
leading another, arrived at Wessington Springs and stayed over night. 
The animals were valuable ones and the young fellow was anxious to 
sell one of them. He offered the horse at a price so low that Mr. Price, 
the liveryman, became suspicious that all was not right. In the morning 
the man departed taking the horses with him. About an hour after he 
had left the town a telephone message was received from Huron telling 
the sheriff, Chas. Knudson, to look out for a man who had stolen a team 
of horses near that place and was supposed to be somewhere in the 
vicinity of Wessington Springs. The sheriff invited Mr. Price to go with 
him and together they set out in pursuit of the man with the animals. 
They overtook him at the residence of J. A. Paddock in Crow Township. 
They were close upon the fellow before he discoverede that he was being 
pursued. He was requesting Mr. Paddock to open a. gate that stretched 
across the road, when that gentleman remarked that "Those men who 
are following seem to think otherwise." The young man released the 
led horse and attempted to escape on the other. Mr. Price drew a revolver 
and began firing. The horseman immediately stopped and surrendered. 
He proved to be the man wanted by the Huron parties. 

In November a man named Rornboldt stole a span of heavy draft 
horses from Ray Barber at Alpena, but was captured with the stolen 
property. At the request of States Attorney Francis, a special term of 
the circuit court was called and the prisoner was sentenced to two years 
in the penitentiary on a plea of guilty. This ended the perpetration of 
crimes of that character in the county. 

The annual picnic of the old settlers" association of western Jerauld 
County was held at Pierce's grove, two miles west of Templeton, on the 
14th of June. This grove then became the meeting place for the associa- 
tion in subsequent years. 

On May 15th a district W. C. T. U. convention was held at Wessing- 
ton Springs in the Congregational Church. This was followed on June 
28th by a county Sunday School convention in the same church. 

On June 12th the Wessington Springs Seminary graduated a class of 
twelve members as follows : Harrv Lackwood. Mav Cook. Clara Phil- 


lips, Stephen Dixon, Carry Talbot, Carrie Allen, Roy McNeil, Frank 
Shultz, Ethel White, Hattie Esmay, Alex. Kennedy, Geraldine Heath. 

The county teachers'" institute was opened June 17th and continued 
two weeks in the Seminary Chapel, Prof. Doderer, of Chamberlain, con- 

A state conference of the Universalist Churches of South Dakota was 
held at Wessington Springs on June 20th. 

On July 3rd, 4th and 5th a district G. A. R. re-union was held in 
White's Grove at Alpena. Like all such gatherings, the old veterans were 
greeted with an immense concourse of people from Jerauld, Sanborn and 
Beadle Counties. 

The Fourth of July was also celebrated at Glen, Gordon P. O. and 
the Solberg Church in Viola Township. 

The only change made in the mail service in the county was in A'iola 
Township, where the Ada post office was re-established, with Mr. J. C. 
Miller as P. M. This occurred in April. 

Among the churches and societies some changes and additions were 
made. In Pleasant Township a Farmers' Club was organized that so- 
cially was a great help to the west side of the count3\ On June 30th a 
Congregational Church was organized at Fauston and on July 7th it was 
received into the fellowship of churches. The new church started out 
with 22 members. In the autumn the society employed Samuel Mar- 
lenee to put up a church edifice for them and on the 7th of November the 
corner stone was laid. 

At Alpena the Presbyterian society began the construction of a new 
church building. The contract for the carpenter work was given to 
Samuel Marlenee, who began work on the 7th of November. A lodge of 
"Brotherhood of America" with 21 charter members was organized in 
January and the "Royal Neighbors" in August. These were fraternal 
insurance societies. 

May 5th the German Lutherans dedicated a new organ which they 
had purchased for their church in the south part of Alpena township. A 
sermon in the German language was preached by Rev. Gebhardt. of 
Conova. and one in English by Rev. Lack, the local pastor. Rev. Lack 
resigned as pastor in December. 

On November 30th a brass band was organized at Alpena with 15 
pieces, to which seven more instruments were added the next week. 
This organization became one of the prominent musical aggregations of 
the state. 

The only change among the newspapers of the county was in Alpena, 
when R. E. Dye on April 5th succeeded E. M. Cochran in the office of 
the Tournal. 


Business changes in the county in 1901 were numerous. 

About the first of June Ray Barber began. building- at Alpena one of 
the finest livery barns in the state. It was 42, feet wide by 96 feet in 

Sept. 1st C. W. Miller purchased the Alpena hotel of Airs. Barber and 
Mrs. Thompson and took possession. At about the same time the C. L. 
Coleman Lumber Co. established a yard at Alpena. 

During the first week in December W. H. JNIcMillan and J. D. Cham- 
berlain purchased the Alpena meat market of Andrew Mercei, and a few 
days later W. R. Wiley bought the furniture store and business at Alpena 
of J. D. Chamberlain. 

In August Mr. Chamberlain had purchased the Presbyterian Church 
building on the north side of Main street in Alpena, opposite Odd Fel- 
lows Hall and fitted it up for use as a general store. 

At Wessington Springs the first business transaction of the year was 
the sale of the local telephone company's line to the Dakota Central Tele- 
phone Co. This occurred on January ist, 1901. 

A few days later Mr. Vanderveen sold his lumber stock and business 
to E. B. Paddock, who ran the business alone until September, when he 
sold a half interest to W. T. McConnell. 

The latter part of ]\Iarch Homer Hackett began the erection of a 
building for use of the England furniture company. G. T. England, 
successor to the company, still occupies the building, which he has since 

In April W. T. George and W. T. McConnell located in Wessington 
Springs to engage in business. The coming of these gentlemen was 
probably the first step in the making of a greater W^essington Springs. 
Air. George purchased a half interest in the Vessey store, which then 
took the name of Vessey-George Alercantile Co., and Air. AlcConnell be- 
came president of the Bank of Wessington Springs. 

On Alay 3rd E. AI. Cochran rented and took possession of the Carlton 
House in Wessington Springs, but retired from it in October and was 
succeeded in its management by C. N. Hall, the owner. 

Howard Pope sold his interest in the blacksmith business to which he 
and A4r. Alinnill had added feed grinding. This .change occurred in Alay 
and a little later Mr. Alennill sold a half interest in the business to Homer 

In August A. AT. Slocum built a photograph gallery on the northwest 
corner of Alain and Third streets. 

The next month (Sept. 1901) Mrs. Alinnie Easton took charge of the 
millinery department in the Vessey-George store. 


About the first of October Dr. Smith and Prof. E. G. Burritt opened 
a. drug- store in the Weibold building on the southwest corner of Main 
and 3rd streets. 

On November 15th Steere & Wallace began building a two-story mer- 
cantile structure on the northwest corner of Main and 2nd streets. 

Sometime in the forepart of the year Mr. M. Kieffer, undoubtedly 
one of the most skillful masons in the state, located at Wessington Springs 
and began working at his trade. 

Among the prominent people of the county who died during the year 
were Ambrose Baker of Marlar township ; J. H. May, of Alpena town- 
ship and C. M. Chery and :\Irs. C. M. Spears of Wessington Springs. 

Chapter 14. 

( 1902). 

On January 7th, 1902, the county commissioners re-elected P. H. 
Shultz chairman of the board, being the only time in the history of the 
county that a member has been given that position two times in succes- 

On Alarch ist of that year the cash in the hands of the treasurer was 
a little more than $20,000. Never before had the county funds reached 
so high a figure. 

In July the county purchased of ^Irs. Johanna McDowall a tract of 
land for a road through the hills on the east line of the. county. In 
August the board took up for final adjustment the matter of a highway 
through Media township west from the end of the grade west of Wes- 
sington Springs. For many years this had been a vexatious subject. 
Alany "views" and surveys had been made, but with no practical results. 
But this time a survey was made, the notes recorded and the land pur- 
chased for the road that now extends from the county seat to where it 
strikes the section line road between sections 8 and 17 in Media township. 

Nothing else was done by the county board during the year except the 
ordinary routine work. 

On July 28th the county teachers" institute began a two-weeks session 
with Prof. C. W. Martindale, of Yankton, conductor. 

The County Sunday School convention was held Sept. 7th in the 
Grisinger grove in Franklin township. 

As the time for the bienniel election approached the parties prepared 
for the contest. The Republican party put forth the following ticket : 


Senator — T. W. Lane. 

Representative — H. B. Ferren. 

Treasurer — D. C. Wallace. 

Register of Deeds — W. B. Wilson. 

Auditor — J. D. Powell. 

Sheriff— G. N. Price. 

Judge— C. W. McDonald. 

Clerk— W. F. Taylor. 

County Supt. — A. V. Hall. 

Coroner — J. E. Shull. 

County Com., 2nd District — Geo. C. ^Martin. 

County Co., 3rd District — O. C). England. 

The Populist party nominated : 

For Senator — J. A. Eberly. 

Representative — N. A. Keeler. 

Treasurer — M. A. Shaefer. 

Auditor— R. W. Wiley. 

Register of Deeds — J. A. Ford. 

Sheriff — Chas. A. Knudson. 

Attorney — C. C. Gleim. 

Clerk — J. W. Snart. 

County Supt. — Geo. O. Williams. 

Coroner — Pat McDonald. 

County Com., 2nd Dist. — P. H. Shultz. 

County Co., 3rd Dist. — H. T. Gilbert. 

The Prohibition party also had a ticket in the field. 

The result was the election of the entire Republican ticket except the 
candidate for sheriff. This was the first sweeping victory of the Repub- 
licans in twelve years. 

In 1892 the government established a post office at the sod house of 
Jacob Stickley in Pleasant township. There O. E. Corwin opened a store 
at the same time. Both continued about a year. 

In February the government contracted with the following mail car- 
riers : Crow Lake and Mt. Vernon routes. J. H. Vessey; jMiller route. 
W. Spain ; Woonsocket, Wm. Keene. All these routes started from Wes- 
sington Springs. 

In March the county furnished the plank and street commissioner Wm. 
Hawthorne for the village of Wessington Springs laid a sidewalk from the 
Willard Hotel to the court house. 

The Fourth of July celebrations in 1902 were at Chas. \\'alter's grove 


/['. B. Wilson. 

Win. F. Tayloi 

G. T. Ew-dand. Dale C. Jl'allacc. Mrs. Minnie Easton. 


in A'iola; at Glen P. O. in Logan; at Peirce's Grove in Harmony and at 
AA'essington Springs. 

A month later, Aug. 3rd, the new Congregational Church at Fauston 
was dedicated and on Sept. 21 the same ceremony was conducted for the 
new Alpena Presbyterian Church. On October 19th the Alpena ]\I. E. 
Church was out of debt and celebrated the occasion by publicly burning 
the mortgage that had rested on the church so many years. In connec- 
tion with the same church a charter was granted to a Junior E])worth 
League society on Dec. 15, 1902. 

Early in 1902 the ]\L E. Society at AA'essington Springs decided to 
erect a larger church building on Fourth Street, a block north of Main 
Street and offered the old church, built by the early settlers in 1883, for 
sale. It was purchased by the Solberg Swedish Lutheran Society of the 
south lYdrt of Franklin township, but was not moved to its new location 
until 1904. The ^Methodist Church at W'essington Springs began the 
erection of their new building in the summer of 1902, but it was not 
completed until the next year. In the meantime the society obtained the 
use of the Universalist building. 

The Society of Friends in Harmony Township moved a building 
owned by them in Hand County to a location they had obtained on the 
south side of Peirce's Grove, two miles west of Templeton,- and establishetl 
that as their meeting place in the county. 

During the first week in January, 1902, R. E. Dye succeeded Richard 
Davenport as postmaster at Alpena. Later in the season the postofhce 
and printing office were placed under one roof at their present location. 

Nov. 29th the Stock P. O. in Chery township was discontinued. 

April I St W. E. W'aterbury gave up the old Waterbury P. O. and it 
was moved three miles east to the residence of Clark W'etherell who had 
been appointed P. M. 

About the middle of December O. O. luigland bought the J. R. luldy 
juercantile stock at Templeton and became postmaster at that office. 

In the fall of this year, (1902), a fire company w^as organized in 
Crow Lake township for protection against prairie fires. The officers 
were I. C. Russell, Joseph OTh-ien and !>. Weibold.; Each member of the 
cumpan}' was required to ecjuip himself with certain means for fighting- 
fire and to respond immediately to an alarm. 

.C)n March 24th lohn Sime completed his artesian well on the south- 
west cjuarter of section iseven in Franklin township at a depth of 830 feet. 

Numerous changes were made in the banking institutions of the county 
■during the year. The I>ank of Al])ena on the 22nd of Jul}- increased its 
cai)ital stock to $12,000 and alxnit the same time began the construction 


F. G. Vcsscx. 

A. R. McConncU. 

M. S. Ccm'inaii. /. Ff. Jl'oodbuni. E. B. Maris. 


of a brick building for use of the institution at the southeast corner of 
]\Iain and 2nd streets. 

The organization of the Alpena State Bank was completed Aug. 22nd. 
The incorporators were D. S. Alanwaring and Frank Baker of Alpena 
and C. R. and M. A. Manwaring of Atwood, Iowa, with F. E. Alanning 
as cashier. The capital stock was $10,000. The bank was formally 
opened for business Sept. ist. The deposits in this institution during the 
first three weeks of its existence was $23,000. 

In the latter part of December, D. C. Wallace resigned his position as 
cashier of the Bank of Alpena and moved to Wessington Springs to 
enter upon his duties as county treasurer. 

On Sept. 17th R. S. and F. G. Vessey became 'owners of the stock 
of the Wessington Springs State Bank with T. F. A'essey. F. AI. Steere, 
John R. Francis and Gilmore Robins, the latter being of Grinnell, Iowa. 

The First National Bank of Wessington Springs was authorized Sept. 
25th and opened for business on the first day of Oct. The first issue of 
its currency was on November 19th. The stockholders of the new bank 
were, J. H. Woodburn, John Grant, W. T. George, E. B. Maris, W. T. 
McConnell, A. R. McConnell, O. J. Marshall, Sarah AlcConnell, J. B. 
Collins, W. H. Sutton and C. R. Cornelius, all but the last four being- 
directors. The officers were W. T. McConnell, president, J. H. Wood- 
burn, vice-president and E. B. Maris, cashier. The capital stock was 
$25,000, upon which semi-annual devidends have been paid each year 
since the opening of the bank. At the close of this history, January ist, 
1909, the bank's surplus and undivided profits exceeded $10,000. The new 
institution began business in the little frame building formerly occupied 
as a hardware store on the north side of Alain street, three doors west 
of 2nd street. The directors immediately began preparations for a brick 
building on the corner of Main and 2nd streets on the ground where the 
Woodburn store building stood. The store building they moved one lot 
east. Work on the new building commenced Dec. 9th, but it was not 
completed until the next year. 

The year 1902 was one of much business activity in both Wessington 
Springs and Alpena. At the latter place Grant Anderson started a har- 
ness shop in his hardware store in January, and the next month C. S. 
Jacobs opened a harness shop on the north side of Main street, with his 
son Louis Jacobs as manager. About the first of August, however, Mr. 
Jacobs sold his business to Mr. Anderson, who has since done the business 
for that part of the county. 

C. C. Isenbuth sold his mercantile store and business in January to 
F. A. Franzwa, who took possession February ist. In May Mr. Franzwa 
had the first cement walk in the town laid in front of his store and in 

28 1 

Jacob Sicklcy's Sod House. 

Sticklcv's Martial Baud. 


Aug"ust remodeled and enlarged the building, adding another story for 
living rooms. 

In February George Hatch began building a new livery, barn, which 
was completed in early spring. He later in the summer purchased the 
barn and livery stock of Ray Barber taking possession in August. 

T. L. White and \Vm. Zink of Wessington Springs put in a stock of 
farm machinery at Alpena in Januarv and employed Pat ]\IcDonald as 
salesman. In October Mr. White sold his interest in the business to Mr. 
Zink. who continued alone to the close of the year. 

In April and Alay Andrew fiercer built a restaurant building on the 
south side of Main street, but in October sold the building" and business 
to G. Evenson. 

A. Amundson, who for several years had been in charge of the C. 
2\L & St. P. Ry. station at Alpena, resigned on ]\Iay 1st and was suc- 
ceeded by C. G. Boom. 

July 1st, J. R. !Milliken purchased of L. X. Loomis his real estate 
business and a few days later the latter moved to Minneapolis. 

A change was made in the barber shop in the latter part of August 
when Art Winters and Frank Eastman bought the business of L. N. 

In the same month W. H. McMillan purchased J. D. Chamberlain's 
interest in the meat market. 

In the fall of 1902 Dr. H. E. Jenkinson located in Alpena to take up 
the practice of his profession. 

To the real estate men more than all others, probably, was due the 
mcreased activity in the various lines of business. At Alpena fifteen cars 
of immigrants arrived on Feb. 21, brought by the National Land Co., 
and the next week twelve cars came, independent of local agents. The 
state was litterally overrun with real estate men taking prospective buyers 
to dilTerent counties to look at land. In November J. W- Doubenmier 
came to Alpena to take charge of the business of the National Land Co. 
in place of A. C. Doubenmier. 

At Wessington Springs W. FI. Sutton purchased the Kennedy hard- 
ware stock the latter part of January and later moved it into the Steerc 
& Wallace building on the corner of Main and 2nd streets. 

Early in the year White & Zink built a machinery warehouse on the 
north side of Main street between First and Second. 

March ist Hugh Personius of Woonsocket rented the Carlton House. 
T)ut in the latter part of March sold to F. W. Dodge. About the first of 
Sept. Mr. Personius purchased the Willard Hotel, but a few days later 
sold that, also, to Mr. Dodge. 


In April R. A'anderveen re-purchased of Messrs. Paddock and Mc- 
lonnell the lumber business in Wessington Springs. 

A month later J. B. Collins established a lumber and coal yard in Wes- 
sington Springs, which became the first permanent yard in the town, 
being purchased March 23rd, 1904, by the W. W. Johnson Lumber Co. 

In Jul}' C. C. Gleim, an attorney from Artesian, located in Wessington 
.Springs to practice law. 

August 1st W. T. George retired from the A'essey-George Mercantile 
Co., and the business again passed under the name of Vessey Bros., man- 
aged by T. F. \>ssey. On the 8th of Sept. A'essey Bros, began putting 
up a two-story building on the northeast corner of 2nd and Main streets. 
Into this building they moved their mercantile stock on Dec. 8th and had 
an "opening" for the entertainment of their customers on Dec. i8th. 

In Sept. E. L. Smith erected a store building on the lot east of Brod- 
korb's meat market, on the south side of .Main street for use of X. M. 
S])ears with his grocery stock. 

C )ctober ist J. W. Shull bought and took possession of the Pioneer 
Drug Store. 

Dr. C. E.' Stewart located in Wessington Springs in the summer to 
practice medicine with his brother Dr. F. H. Stewart. 

])Ut many things occurred this year tending toward the advancement 
of general business and social afil'airs of the county, aside from individual 
business matters. 

On March 8th the Alpena band, \\ hich had now become a very efficient 
musical organization, made its first public appearance and soon became 
noted in this part of the state. 

The Alpena Gun Club had its first contest vrith outside marksmen 
on March 20th and won the game. The Alpena shooters were C. W. 
Miller, R. fiercer, C. G. Haskins, J. E. Shull and J. H. Verry. 

In the early spring; of 1902 the village of Alpena found itself entirely 
free from debt and a strong demand being made for better school facili- 
ties. An election was therefore held on April 5th to vote on the matter 
of creating an independent school district three miles square in the 
northeast corner of the township. The proposition carried and the new 
district at once set about the building of an addition to the old school 
house. Fifteen hundred dollars bonds were voted and issued for the 
improvements. On ( )ct. 26 school was opened with 100 ]:)upils divided 
into three schools. 

In August the Alpena Epworth League arranged for a lecture course 
for the ensuing winter. This was the beginning of a course that has been 
continued ever since. 

At the Wessington Springs Seminary the graduating exercises occur- 


red on June i8th for a class of six; B. I. Hubbard, G. Benton Ingram, 
Mary M. Nelson, Odell K. Whitney, Ara B. George and Ruth Cook. 

In both Alpena and Wessington Springs the subject of better protec- 
tion against fire began to be seriously considered. Both towns were 
"talking" artesian well, and on Dec. ist the county seat voted bonds in 
the sum of $2,500 to carry out the project. Alpena postponed the ques- 
tion until the next season. 

For twenty years Wessington Springs had been waiting for a rail- 
road. Each year there had been rumors of railway communication, some- 
times in one direction and sometimes in another. But now the people 
determined to do something to remedy the methods of transportation. A 
league of business men was formed in February 17th, 1902, to consider 
all matters pertaining to the welfare of the town. An organization was 
perfected with C. S. Jacobs, president; W. T. INIcConnell, vice-president; 
E. G. Burritt, secretary and Jefif. Sickler, treasurer. These officers were 
members of an executive committee to which was also added R. S. \'es- 
sey, O. J. Marshall and F. \I. Steere. A few days later a company was 
incorporated under the name of the W^essington Springs and W^oonsocket 
Electric Railway Company. A good deal of correspondence was had by 
the league with civil engineers and capitalists during the next few weeks. 
On May 9th a couple of railway officials of the C. M. & St. P. came to 
Wessington Springs and engaged a livery team with G. N. Price as 
driver. They visited the west part of the county and spent the night at 
Richards P. O. in Buffalo county. The next day they returned and went 
on to the railroad. What would come of this visit no one would guess. 
Disappointments from that source had been so many that none would 
risk a hope. A meeting was called to consider the feasibility of putting 
an automobile line in operation between Wessington Springs and ^^'oon- 
socket. While that was under consideration by the people of the town, 
the C. M. & St. P. on June 6th began surveying from Woonsocket west. 
One line was run straight toward the court house in W^essington Springs 
and another toward the Wallace gulch three miles north. Then the days, 
weeks and months dragged wearily on and all thought this railroad rumor 
had gone like the others. December came, and on the 9th of that month 
Mr. B. H. Eldridge, civil engineer, in the employ of the C. M. & St. P. 
Co. arrived in Wessington Springs with a full crew of surveyors. They 
secured board at the Willard Hotel and obtained the use of the office 
room of the old Carlton House for headquarters. It then became known 
that a final survey was to be made for a line between Wessington Springs 
and Woonsocket and that a railroad was to be built from Woonsocket to 
the Wessington Hills. But, would it be run to Wessington Springs, or 
would the company destroy the town that the people had kept alive, with 


hope, for so many years. The year 1902 drew to a close, and one of the 
hardest winters in the history of the county settled down over the prai- 
ries, leaving the important question unanswered. 

On Dec. 13th, 1902, snow began falling in large flakes and continued 
two days and two nights without stopping. There was no wind and the 
flakes rested where they fell. The weather was just cold enough to keep 
the snow from changing to rain until the evening of the i6th, then for a 
few minutes the rain fell in torrehts. This was followed by a cold wave 
with a northwest wind. The snow was too wet to drift and the crust of 
water froze until all over the prairie, on hill and in valley, rested a coating 
of ice from a half inch to an inch in thickness. It was impossible to drive 
animals through the snow because the ice crust cut their legs like glass. 
To make a road men had to go ahead and break the ice so the teams 
could follow. This winter, though not so cold as some, was one of the 
hardest in which to do farm work, that has even been experienced in the 

Chapter 15. 


The surveyors that had established headquarters in the old Carlton 
House at Wessington Springs in the last week in December, 1902, con- 
tinued their work during the first week of January, 1903, and ran several 
lines from the Firesteel Creek to the hills. On February 19th the rail- 
way company notified the people of the town that the nearest approach 
they could make to the town was the line over which the track was even- 
tually built. They also requested the people to donate the land needed 
for depot and terminal facilities. The amount thought necessary was 16 
or 18 acres. This, Mr. B. F. Hubbard, who owned the land, offered to 
sell at $75 per acre. A meeting of the Business Men's League was held 
on the 2 1 St, at which it was voted unanimously to comply with the request 
and to raise the money by popular subscription. Before the land was 
deeded to the company the request was reduced by about 11 acres so that 
only about seven acres were desired by the company. This change was 
made in the forepart of May. At another public meeting held March 
30th, it had been voted to ask the village trustees to levy a tax to pay 
for the terminal ground. The tax was levied, but its collection was en- 
joined by the circuit court. The money had already been paid, however. 


by subscription, and the expense of providing- the depot and other 
grounds fell upon a few individuals. 

The work of buying the right-of-way for the railroad began on March 
13th, the company paying therefor $30.00 per acre. On May 6th Mr. 
Kennedy, a railway contractor, arrived with a large force of graders and 
pitched his camp about a mile east of town, near the right-of-way. The 
grading was divided into two contracts and was pushed as is the case 
with all such contract work. By September ist the grade was completed 
from Wessington Springs to Woonsocket and laying ties and rails com- 
menced. On September 20th the long looked for day arrived when the 
construction train reached the end of the line and Wessington Springs 
had a railroad. 

With the railroad came a new influence, before unknown to the village 
by the hills. In all the years of its history Wessington Springs had been 
strict in its observance of the Sabbath. By ordinance the village trustees 
had imposed a fine upon any business man who sold goods on Sundav, 
except the meat market man, who was permitted to keep his shop open on 
Sunday until 10 o'clock A. AI. 

But the railroad threatened to revolutionize the old town in regard 
to Sabbath observance. The first passenger train to be pulled out of 
Wessington Springs was an excursion on Sunday Sept. 27th, G. A. 
Lawler, conductor, and A. Martins, engineer, to the Corn Palace at 
Mitchell. A great many Wessington Springs people went on that train. 
The puritanic sentiment of those who stayed at home was greatly shocked. 
A petition in the nature of a protest was liberally signed and forwarded 
to the officials of the company, requesting that they desist from running- 
Sunday excursions to, or from, Wessington Springs. At first but little 
attention was paid to the petition, but at length the expressed public 
opinion had its effect and the practice of running Sunday trains unneces- 
sarily was abandoned. 

The next day, Sept. 28th, the railway company began running a mixed 
train daily to Wessington Springs, where they had left a box car to be 
used as a depot in charge of Mr. Earl, the first station agent. A few days 
later the long distance telephone line was extended to the depot box car 
for use of the station agent until the telegraph line could be brought in. 
The phone is still in use. 

On Oct. 2nd Car No. 46574 was loaded by J.' B. Collins with 996 
Imshels of No. i hard wheat. There being no agent at Wessington Springs 
at that time, the car was taken to Woonsocket by the construction train 
and there billed to the Van Dusen-Harring^on Co., at Minneapolis. This 
was the first car of grain shipped from Wessington Springs. The price 
was 79 cents per bushel. The proceeds of the grain was $78^). 84. 


H. A. Frick and his tico sons Gnx 
and Harry R. Frick. 

Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Wood. 

C. J. Ffaff. 

IF. T. McConncU. 

J. G. Bradford. 


Before the first of October Gotwals & Russell, stockbuyers at Wes- 
sington Springs shipped the first carload of cattle over the new road. 
The stock yards were completed in November, and when, on the 15th of 
December the mail began coming to \\'essington Springs by rail the town 
felt its connection with the world was complete. 


When it became certain that the C. M. & St. P. was going to build 
Avest from Woonsocket, L. N. Loomis and T. W. Lane purchased the 
south half of section 17, of Franklin township and gave the railway town- 
site company a half interest in the land in consideration of it being made 
the site of the town to be located between Wessington Springs and Woon- 
socket. A few days later, May 15th, Mr. Franzwa, who had sold his store 
at Alpena, began building a store on the railway right of way near where 
the depot now stands. 

About a week later E. H. Wood and F. G. Vessey of Wessington 
Springs borrowed a small safe which they placed in Franzwa's store 
building and started "The Farmers State Bank," as a partnership. About 
the same time the Fullerton Lumber Co. put up a small office building as 
the beginning of the first lumber yard in Lane, with G. S. \A'arren agent. 

Before the roof had been put over the Fullerton office building the 
First National Bank people of Wessington Springs took steps toward the 
incorporation of another bank, also having the name "Farmers State 
Bank." The articles were prepared and sent to Pierre to be filed with 
the secretary of state, and Carl Lange, cashier, procured a dry goods box 
for a desk and a cracker box for a seat. By permission, he placed them 
both in the roofless lumber office, and placing himself behind one and 
upon the other, was also ready to do a banking business in the name of 
'The Farmers State Bank." But Vessey & W^ood had by this time learned 
of the move of the rival bank, and had drawn up articles of incorporation 
which they had recorded. Mr. Wood then took the papers for his bank 
and went to Pierre. The articles of the opposing bank were sent to the 
state capital on the same train. Arrived at the office of the secretary of 
state both sets of papers were presented for filing. The secretary looked 
over the documents and rejected the one presented by First National Bank 
because it had not been recorded at W^essington Springs. He then took 
up Mr. Wood's articles of incorporation and rejected them because the 
notary in his hurry had neglected to affix his official seal. It was to be 
a race for the name of the bank. One set of papers must be recorded, 
and the other must be sealed. Mr. Wood was probably never more thank- 
ful for a long distance 'phone. He called up the notary at Wessington 


Springs and told him to come to Pierre at once and bring his Notarial 
Seal. It is needless to say that Vessey & Wood became officers of 
"The Farmers State Bank" of Lane. The other bank became incorpor- 
ated, but under the name of "The Security Bank/' of Lane. 

About the same time that the race for the name of the bank was going 
on Mr. Franzwa forwarded to the post office department at Washington 
an application for the establishment of a post office at Lane and that he 
be made the first postmaster. During this time a ball nine and a gun 
club were organized composed of sportsmen living in the vicinty of the 
new station. No records have been preserved of the achievements of 
the gun club, but the ball nine distinguished itself by defeating all the 
neighboring teams that crossed bats with it. As yet the town had not 
been platted and persons established on the proposed townsite were only 
"squatters" with no priority of right. 

On the i6th of July the "Jerauld County News," published by R. B. 
Smith, was issued from an office located in a granary on the northeast 
c|uarter of section 19 — the old L. E. Franklin homestead. The paper was 
a six-column folio and announced decided opposition to saloons. The 
first subscription order received by the publisher was from Mr. John 

The town was platted about the middle of July and on the 31st the 
company sold the lots at public auction. Mr. Franzwa received his com- 
mission and began to do business as postmaster on the day of the town 
lot sale. 

By this time both banks were duly incorporated and doing business. 
The directors of the Security Bank were W. T. McConnell, J. FL Wood- 
burn, E. B. Maris, O. J. Marshall, O. O. Lindebak and F. A. Franzwa.. 
The officers of the Farmers State Bank were F. G. Vessey, president ; D. 
H. Wood, vice president and E. H. Wood, cashier. I^)Ut as it was thought 
the business of the town would not warrant the continuance of two banks 
the Security sold its business and outfit to the rival institution on the 
first day of August. 

All was now hustle and hurry in the new town. Hammers and saws 
sounded from daylight until long after nightfall in strenuous preparation 
for the approaching winter. In the first days of August the foundation 
for the bank building was completed and the superstructure erected upon 
it in time to make it the first permanent building of the town. 

On Sept. 1st L. W. Casteman, of Alpena, began .selling meat in Lane, 
and on the 12th the railroad construction train arrived. About the same 
time work on the L. N. Loomis elevator commenced and in one month 
it was readv to receive grain. 


Carl L. Strieve and Fred Seifkin were both buying stock at Lane 
during September and October, 1903. 

On Sept. 6th a large tent was set up at Lane and an enthusiastic Sun- 
day School rally held. 

By Sept. 24th the weather had become so cold that the open granary 
from which the newspaper had been issued was no longer habitable for a 
printing office. There was no room that could be rented and the editor 
was forced to suspend publication until a building could be erected and a 
room prepared. Between Sept. 24th and October 22nd no paper was 
issued. The paper then resumed regular issue. On November 12th 
the name of the paper was changed to "The Lane Pioneer News" and as 
such it has made its weekly visit to its readers ever since. 

About the ist of November W. L. Smith became local agent for the 
Fullerton Lumber Co. at Lane, and has held the position to the present 

On November 27th two things happened of widely different natures ; 
one was the organization of The Ladies' Aid Society with Mrs. L. J. 
Grisinger, president; Mrs. George E. Whitney, vice president; Mrs. R. 
B. Smith, secretary; and Mrs. R. Nesbit, treasurer; the other was a peti- 
tion by Nick Wicker to the township board to call a special election to 
vote on the saloon question. 

By November 24th a forge had been set up in the smithy and Samuel 
Feistner lighted the first forge fire and repaired a "throw-oft'"" lever for 
the News job press. This occurred in Feistner Bros. shop. 

Ed. Eaton named his restaurant "The Star"' and served the first 
meal in it at noon on the last day of November in the building put up 
by Mr. Franzwa about the middle of May. Up to that time the room 
had been used as a general merchandise store but these Mr. Franzwa 
began moving into his new store on the corner which he formall}- 
"opened" on the 12th of December. 

One of the most important events in November was the sinking oi 
an artesian well, which has since supplied the town with water. 

On Dec. 4th D. P. Ryan, as buyer, opened the Cargill grain elevatt)r 
for business, a-iid on Dec. 22nd H. PL Fetterly opened a barber shop. 

During all this hurly-burly of building, moving and getting ready for 
winter probaly no man was of greater assistance to all than Oscar Lin- 
debak who began doing a dray and livery business in November. 

Although trains began running into Lane regularly on Sept. 28th 
and received and delivered freight at that place the railway company had 
no depot until the next year nor no regular agent. Sometimes Mr. 
Franzwa receipted for outgoing freight and stored it in his store, or in 


the company's tool house, built in November, and sometimes it was 
receipted for by the conductor. 

But while Lane was coming into existence and Wessington Springs 
was trying to adjust itself to railway conditions, the town of Alpena was 
ec[ually busy in taking care of the business demands that were going that 

The Bank of Alpena moved into its new building during the first 
week in January. Fred Ferguson and ]Mason Smith were granted a 
franchise for a telephone exchange in the town on February 12th "to con- 
tinue as long as they do business under, the same name and management." 
The telephone exchange was not put in, however, until in Nov. when 
the work was done by Bert Pinard, of Wessington Springs for another 
company composed of A. F. Smith, J. E. Shull, J. M. Johnson, D. S. 
Manwaring and R. E. Dye. At that time 40 phones were installed. 

C. W. Miller sold and gave possession of the Reveve House to Mason 
Smith IMarch 2nd, and about a month later A. N. Louder purchased the 
Franzwa store and business. 

In April Grant Anderson increased the length of his store building 
making it 140 feet long by 24 feet in width. 

Dr. Jenkinson closed his partnership relations with Dr. Shull in May 
and in August purchased the practice of Dr. Stewart at Wessington 
Springs and located there. 

The Alpena Investment Co. was organized in !May with J. D. Cham- 
berlain as president and A. S. Cory as secretary and treasurer. This 
company a few days later (May 24th) received of C. H. Prior a deed for 
a strip of land 66 feet wide by 2,100 feet long on the east side of the 
platted portion of the town, for use as a public street. 

In April a petition was filed with the town trustees asking that the 
establishment of a saloon in Alpena be submitted to the voters of the 
town at the next election. The vote was taken May 4th and the saloon 
was voted in by 12 majority. C. J. Vandergrift applied for license to 
sell liquor and the application was granted. On June loth the county 
commissioners held a special session and approved the saloon bond. 

A meeting was held May 25th to consider the subject of putting down 
an artesian well in Alpena. A contract was entered into with Redfield 
])arties to drill a three-inch welLand on August 15th the work was com- 
lileted at a depth of 713 feet, having a flow of over 600 gallons per 
minute. A contract was made September i8th for laying the mains for a 
village water system, which was completed November i8th and a water 
tank for public use placed on the north side of Main street between the 
hotel and the depot. 

On June 24th the largest Rebekah lodge in the state was organized 


at Alpena with 84 members, and named "Echo Lodge." The officers 
were, Airs. Ella V. Milliken, N. G.; Mrs. Mattie Hillis, \'. G. ; A. S. 
Cory, Sec. ; Miss Blanche Hatch, Treas. 

W. H. McMillan sold his meat market to Geo. Marston June 23rd. 
About the same time J. S. Tripp opened a drugstore on the north side of 
Main street west of Chamberlain's store. 

A few days later, the forepart of July, Ray Barber purchased of 
George Hatch both livery barns and the stock which he continued to own 
until the next year. 

August 10th E. F. Allen came up from Woonsocket and took the 
management of the Columbia Company's elevator and has retained the 
position to the present time. 

About the middle of August L. W. Castleman purchased the meat 
market, and K. O. Kettleson of Woonsocket bought G. Everson's restau- 
rant building and business. 

About the 20th of August T. L. White bought an interest in the 
Bank of Alpena and became its cashier, and about the same time M. G. 
Shull and J. W. Doubenmier opened a pool and billiard hall on the north 
side of Main street. 

In the forepart of September L. D. Miller built a photograph gallery 
in the west part of the business portion of Main street and T. \\. Yegge 
put up a new store building west of the Revere House. 

On September loth the Alpena creamery that had started many a 
poor farmer on the road to prosperity was changed to a mere skimming 
station and the cream was thereafter sold to a cold storage company at 

In the latter part of October, at the order of the village council a 
combined calaboose and hose house was built. 

During the year 1903 the demand for millinery goods at Alpena was 
supplied by Mrs. Minnie Easton, of Wessington Springs. 

,In the first week in December R. W. Wiley bought the restaurant 
property of K. ( ). Kettleson and sold to him the furniture business. 

And during the year things were ha])pening in other parts of the 

The W^essington Springs creamery, that had. the year before, closed 
lis skimming station at the Albert well, in Chery township, this year 
closed the station at Walters' well in Viola. The cold storage companies 
were gradually choking the life out of the co-operative creameries. . 

At Glen H. A. Frick sold his interest in the store to Wm. Barker 
who then became ])Ostmaster. The business was continued under the 
firm name of Eberly & l>arker. 

On the Reese farm in the northwest i)art of Crow Lake townshij) 


another attempt was made to get an artesian well in the west part of the 
county. The flow was struck and the water came to within 32 feet of 
the top of the casing and there stopped. 

In Chery township artesian wells were completed for R. W. Johnson, 
Geo. McGregor, C. H. La Bau, B. Horsley, and also on the old Wallace 
farm. The well of B. Horsley was completed at a depth of 883 feet in 
three days from the time the drill started into the ground. In Viola 
township P. H. Shultz finished his second well, and Thos. Shryock 
obtained one near Wessington Springs. 

About the middle of March O. O. England moved the Templeton 
store and post office to the northwest corner of section 36. There it 
stood until the night of the 24th of November when it was destroyed by 
fire. It was rebuilt at once and the business continued. 

In Blaine township the Parsons postoffice, which had been under the 
management of Mr. and Mrs. Ole Johnson for a good many years was 
discontinued on March 31st. 

In Pleasant township a Sunday School convention was held June 
2 1 St. A state conference of the Universalist church was held at Wes- 
sington Springs Sept. loth and the Free Methodists held their state con- 
ference at the same town on Sept. 30th. 

A labor union was organized in February at Wessington Springs with 
J. A. Houseman, president. 

A town meeting was held February i6t]i to decide upon a location for 
the artesian well. The meeting voted to request the village council to 
locate the well on the block south of the Willard Hotel. Work on the 
well began March 31st and continued until June 9th when it was aban- 
doned, the town paying the drillers $1,000 and buying the casing that had 
been put in the well. The drill had been lost in the first hole, but the 
second one had been pushed down to over 1,200 feet when water rose to 
within a few feet of the surface. The town then planned to use it for a 
pump well, and in the latter part of the season mains were laid from the 
well to ]\Iain Street and the machinery purchased to make use of the 
well for protection against fire. This plan was never a success. While 
drilling for the artesian well a flowing stream was found at about 60 
feet which landlord Dodge piped into the Willard Hotel, in July. About 
the first of July Mr. Jensen of Woonsocket, began drilling an artesian 
well on Miles & Hunter's Addition to Wessington Springs and on the 
19th of that month the well was finished with a good flow. 

The town on February 2nd granted to D. C. Wallace, J. B. Collins 
and F. M. Steere a twenty-year franchise for use of the streets and 
alleys of Wessington Springs for telephone system. In the first half of 
May the exchange system was completed with about 80 phones. The 


central office was located in a room on the 2nd floor at the north end of 
the Steere & Wallace building. 

In February the Colman Lumber Co. purchased the \anderveen 
lumber business and established a yard on 3rd Street north of the public 
school building, where it is still located. J\Ir. Vanderveen was retained 
by the company as their local agent. 

On January loth the W. T. George Co. opened their general store in 
the room vacated by Vessey Bros, in December. 

In the latter part of January \Vm. Zink sold his Alpena implement 
business to Pat McDonald and took John Farrington in as a partner in 
his Wessington Springs business. 

On March 6th another change was made in the office of The Dakota 
Sieve, when Geo. W. Backus again took control of the paper 

T. F. A^essey, village treasurer, called in all outstanding village war- 
rants, on March 12th. The village was then practically free from "debt. 
About JNIarch i8th R. S. Vessey and C. E. Gingery formed a partner- 
ship in real estate business and on April ist Dr. John Cooper, of Des 
Moines, Iowa, located his office in Wessington Springs. 

Near the middle of April Miles & Hunter's addition to W^essington 
Springs was laid out in town lots, and about the same time Vessey Bros, 
bought Mrs. Barrett's one-fourth interest in the old townsite. 

In May money was raised by subscription to buy the land necessary 
to extend Main street east to the section line, but the project was not 
carried out until November 5th. 

The lots on Court House Hill that had been obtained by the county 
from the townsite company and the people of Wessington Springs in 
1885 as the result of locating the court house there, were sold at auction 
May nth, 1903, the amount received being $2,016.00. 

On June 21st Children's Day was celebrated in the new M. E. church 
building. This was the first regular service in the building, which was 
dedicated July 12th. 

The Fullertons, who bought a yard at the east end of Main Street, 
in May, was the second great lumber company, to locate in Wessington 

The First National Bank moved iuto their new bank building on July 
1st. The old building vacated by the bank, was at once moved to the 
south side of Main Street about opposite the new P. O. building and in 
it Henry Pfaff opened a restaurant. 

July 2nd the True Republican printing office was moved into the 
Jacobs-Bancroft building on the north side of Main Street, built by C. 
S. Jacobs and W. F. Bancroft. A few days later the post office moved 
into the same room and was followed by the harness sliop which Mr. 


Jacobs moved into the west room of the building during the latter part 
(if the month. 

During the summer Amos Gotwals erected a building on the east 
side of Zink & Farrington's warehouse, which was rented by Frank Linn 
for a confectionery store. 

About the same time E. L. Smith built an office building with two 
rooms on the south side af jMain Street between 2nd and 3rd streets. 

About Oct. 15 G. T. England bought the interest of the other mem- 
bers in the furniture company and became sole proprietor of the business. 

In October two dray lines were started in Wessington Springs, one 
by L. R. Theeler and one by Walter Bateman. 

For several months P. H. Hackett and Homer Hackett had been run- 
ning the feed mill that was formerly owned by Howard Pope and Joe 
Mennill and also selling farm implements. J. W. Snart now bought P. 
H. Hackett's interest in the business, and it became known as the Hackett 
Implement Co. 

Bert Healy early in the year had purchased a lot east of the Jacobs- 
Bancroft building and put up a one stor}- building into which he moved 
his notion store the latter part of October. 

The Sioux City Cold Storage Co. built a small building for their use 
near the railroad track, in the first week of November. The Wessington 
Springs Creamery, like the one at Alpena, was doomed. 

The Hyde and Loomis elevators were opened for business the fore- 
part of November, and the Lane elevator the 3rd day of December. The 
latter building w^as seld as soon as completed to the Khewise-Moven Ele- 
vator Co. 

A. W. Richardson began his livery business in Wessington Springs 
the first week in December. 

Matters educational as well as things amusing were not neglected in 
the busy year of 1903. A gun club was organized at Wessington Springs 
as was also a baseball nine. The ball nine distinguished itself in a series 
of games with the Plankinton team. In none of these games did the 
score exceed six on a side until the last game when the Plankinton team 
won its only victory in the series with a score of 8 to 4. This last game 
was at the Wessington Springs fair and field day October 9th. On that 
occasion the home gun club was also defeated by the marksmen from 

The rapid growth of the town necessitated increased school facilities 
and in July and August the roof of the school building was raised and 
another story with two rooms added. 

The teachers' institute was held August 17th to 28th. Prof. S.. K. 


Clark, conductor, assisted by John F. Wicks, Miss Irma Hall and Miss 
Alto M. Harris. 

A county meeting of school district officers was held at Wessington 
Springs on the last Saturday in March at which a resolution was passed 
recommending that the teachers of the county be paid from $25 to ^;^S 
per month. 

For the first time in the history of the county the banks on the first 
of April began paying interest on deposits of county funds. 

The June commencement at the Seminary placed diplomas in the 
hands of the following graduates : Dora Shull, Allie McClelland, Earnest 
Vennard, Pearl Jackson, Charles Keller. Jesse Morehead, Florence 

The county commisioners" records for the year contain but little aside 
from ordinary work. At the January meeting Commissioner R. J. Tracy 
was made chairman. 

At their meeting on May 19th the commissioners changed and estab- 
lished highways in Marlar and Harmony townships as follows : 

"Commencing at a point 34 rods east of the corner of section 30 on 
south line of Harmony township and running northwest 45 rods, thence 
west 150 rods, thence west of south 21 rods, thence south west 87 rods, 
to a point 27 rods west of the half section corner on the south side of 
section 36 in Marlar township. Commencing at a point 125 rods north 
of northwest corner of section 36 in Marlar township and running south- 
west 96 rods, thence south 93 rods, thence 42 rods to a point yy rods south 
of the northwest corner of section 36 in Marlar township." 

Chapter 16. 


After the bustle and hurry in business matters at the county seat, 
incident to the coming of the railroad had subsided the town settled down 
to a steady growth. The greatest work in 1904 was the building of 
homes for the people brought in by the rapid increase of the various lines 
of work. The number of residences built each year has increased to the 
present time. 

The railway company began work on the engine stall the first week 
in January and on the 15th started the carpenters at work on the per- 
manent deix)t. On the same day the old box car that had been in use 


as a station house caught fire and the contents badly damaged. A month 
later a dkily passenger service was established and the freight train began 
running tri-weekly. The depot was completed the latter part of March. 

In January E. V. Miles and his son, Leon, opened the depot hotel 
and a grocery store beside it. The store was continued until August, 
when the stock was sold to W. F. Yegge who moved it to his store in 
Chery township. The hotel is still in use. 

The report of the management of the creamery at the annual meet- 
ing in January showed that the cold storage companies were making 
serious inroads upon its patronage. In June the Hanford Produce Co.. 
of Mitchell, rented a room on Main street and began buying cream at 
Wessington Springs, J. H. Weast being the local buyer. 

In January J. W. Snart bought Homer Hackett's interest in the 
feed mill and for some time ran the business alone. 

During the forepart of 1904 E. R. Bateman and J. W. Cowman con- 
ducted a meat market which Mr. Riggs had established the previous fall 
in a building put up by O. J. Marshall on the north side of Main Street 
near Third street. 

About the 20th of January the town council thought to make use of 
the vein of water found while drilling the artesian well. A man with a 
well agur was employed to bore down to the vein. The man went at 
work and when down about forty feet stopped for the night. The next 
morning the hole was full of water and the walls of the hole caved in. 
The water had broken through from the artesian well, outside the casing 
of which the water had been rising for some time. In Sept. another 
effort was made to utilize the same vein. Robert McDonald was em- 
ployed to bore to the stream with a well augur. He put the hole down 
yi) feet and cased it. The water came to the top and ran over, but the 
village had no money with which to construct a system of water works 
and so that scheme failed. 

An earnest move was now made to incorporate the town as a city of 
the third class. The effort did not succeed, however, until the next year. 

During the forepart of the year a woman named Rice put up a build- 
ing on the south side of Main street, opposite the Jacobs Bancroft build- 
ing, for a millinery shop, but never carried out the plan. 

About March ist Geo. Nelson purchased an interest in the Sutton 
jewelry stock and moved it into the building put up the previous autumn 
by J. A. Housman, on the north side of Main street between Second and 
Third streets. The business was continued there until in October when 
Mr. Nelson and his sister, Mrs. Sutton, moved the stock into a brick 
two-story building they had built between the Gotwals confectionery 


store and Jacobs' harness shop. The upper rooms of this brick building 
were occupied by Dr. H. E. Jenkinson, and Dr. Wetherll, the dentist. 

During the forepart of the year Zink and Farrington conducted a 
hardware business in the Steere-Wallace building, with the stock they 
had purchased on the death of W. H. Sutton. T. L. White bought an 
interest in the business in March and the firm then became known as 
White, Zink 8z Farrington. In the summer the firm moved into their 
new store on the north side of Main street. 

The blacksmith work this year, (1904), was done by J. A. Zink, who 
had a shop on the west side of 2nd street, and S. T. Leeds, who had a 
shop in the south end of Snart's feed building. 

In April Mrs. R. W. Probert and her brother, E. U. Cummings, 
built and equipped a steam laundry on the west side of 2nd street, which 
still continues, one of the most useful institutions in the city. 

On March 29th, the old M. E. Church was moved to the NW quarter 
of section 19 in Blaine township for the use of the Solberg Swedish 
Lutheran Society. 

In IMay K. S. Starkey drilled an artesian well on a lot owned by him 
in the north part of the town. 

During the first week in July J. G. Bradford located in Wessington 
Springs to practice law. 

F. W. Dodge sold the Willard Hotel about the loth of July, but did 
not give possession until the forepart of October, when Mrs. Gehan and 
her son John became owners of the property. 

In July Dr. O. C. Hicks, vetrinarian, built a dipping tank near the 
stock yards. 

In August N. M. Spears packed up his stock of goods and moved to 
Lyman county. His place was taken by C. A. Voorhees with a stock of 
groceries. Mr. Voorhees had for some time been doing a confectionery 
business in the old building erected by Peter Barrett in 1883. This left 
the confectionery business in the hands of Frank Linn and Amos Gotwals 
who sold their business to A. V. Hall in October. 

The Sidnam elevator was completed in August being the largest of 
the four then in operation. 

A few days later A. L. Jenkins became the resident agent of the W. 
AV. Johnson Lumber Co. at Wessington Springs. 

In November Dr. Cooper completed and moved into his office rooms 
on the north side of Main street between Second and Third. 

From the Wessington Springs Seminary, on June 15th, was gradu- 
ated a class of four students, Rosa B. Marshall, J. Mae Russell, August 
M. Anderson and O. Jesse Morehead. 

Among the graduates of the county public schools was Malcolm E. 


Mr. and Mrs. L. J. Grisiiigcr. Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Morehead. 

L. A. Pinard. Mr. and Mrs. L. R. lliulcr. L. E. Aiismmi. 

James J V cast. 

Geo. A'. Price. 


White, the 12 year old son of T. L. White, one of the youngest graduates 
ever given a diploma in the county. One other student, Miss Mona Mc- 
Donald had graduated at the same age a couple of years before. 

In May the old flag pole that had for so many years stood in the 
center of the crossing of Main and 2nd streets was cut down and another 
put in its place, for use on Decoration Day and in the Fourth of July 
celebration that followed. 

The Gun Club was re-organized in May. 

On October ist the Wessington Springs post office became a presi- 
dential office and also an international money order office. 

While the foregoing events were occuring in the county seat. Lane 
was being pushed forward with that energy characteristic of new western 

On the 2nd of January the newspaper at Lane was admitted to the 
mails as second class matter. About the same time Henry Hatch of 
Alpena, and Haynes Cunningham bought the Lane livery stable and stock. 
but Mr. Hatch sold his interest in the business to R. ]\fcCurdy about 
February 25th. 

During the forepart of the year L. W\ Castleman supplied fresh meat 
to the people of Lane from his market at Alpena. But in March and 
April he put up a building, 16x20, one half of which he used as a meat 
market and rented the other half for use as a barber shop. He sold the 
meat market to Ira McCaul in December. 

In May L. J. Grisinger began building a store on the corner south of 
The Fanners State Bank to be used by Geo. E. Whitney for a hardware 
store. June 8th the hardware stock had arrived and in the latter part 
of June Franzwa sold to Mr. Wliitney his hardware stock. About the 
same time Mr. McCaul became a partner in the hardware business with 
Whitney and the store was opened. This firm sold their stock to A. 
Harris about the middle of December, who took possession the first of the 
following March. 

C. A. Pray purchased the Star restaurant of Ed Eaton on March 
15th, and June 20th sold it to Henry Koemn, of Plankinton. The build- 
ing in which this restaurant was located was owned by ]\Ir. Franzwa. 
who added eight bedrooms to it in July. Not long after this addition was 
made the restaurant was sold to Mr. Shaw, who in December sold it to 
Carr & Kingsbury, from Woonsocket. The name was then changed to 
'The Owl." 

In the latter part of May Frank McCurdy began putting up a double 
two-story building on the west side of Main street in which he opened a 
large stock of general merchandise on July 15th. 

R. L. Goodwin began work in his blacksmith shop about June 20th. 


and in December AIcRoberts Bros, of Woonsocket, engaged in the same 
business in Lane. 

In July Stakke Bros., of Woonsocket, put in a line of farm machinery 
at Lane, as a branch of their business at Woonsocket. 

Sometime in May a company was formed with L. J. Grisinger, presi- 
dent, to take care of the water from the artesian well. By means of small 
surface pipes, by July the water was conducted into nearly every resi- 
dence and business house in town. 

The railway depot was completed about the middle of June, and 
about the same time preparations began for celebrating the first anni- 
versary of the birth of the town, — July 30th, the date on which the town- 
lot sale occurred, the previous year. 

June 28th the trustees of Franklin township approved Nick Weckers' 
application to open a saloon in the town of Lane, but the institution was 
not established because the county commissioners refused to approve the 

Work on the German Methodist parsonage began April 19th.' 

Mr. Joseph Kutil, the only station agent Lane has had, opened the 
C. M. & St. P. depot on August i6th. 

July 8th R. B. Smith succeeded Mr. Franzvva as postmaster at Lane, 
and in October the office was made a money order office. 

A Modern Woodman camp was formed at Lane on July 22nd with 25 
members and a lodge of Royal Neighbors, with 20 members, was organ- 
ized the following October. 

In the autumn of the year, (1904), the German Lutheran Societies 
north and south of Lane united and moved their church building from 
the southern part of Alpena township into town. 

During the summer the first cement walk in Lane was built by F. A. 
Franzwa in front of his store building. 

Shultz & Starkey, after working five days and four nights, completed 
a well for D. P. Burnison a short distance north of Lane on Dec. loth. 

In Viola township O. W. Morehead and Louis Villbrandt had arte- 
sian wells completed in October, both by Starkey & Shultz. 

In Chery township the same drillers in June and July made good, 
strong wells for L. A. Pinard and W. T. McConnell. 

In April a strong artesian well was struck on the T. W\ Lane ranch 
in Crow township, and a couple of weeks later a good well was drilled at 
the Frick farm, near Glen, in Logan township. 

The Glen creamery that had done so much to enhance the prosperity 
of the farmers in that vicinity, was rented to the Turner Produce Co., 
of Mitchell, in June, 1904, and in August a still further change was made 


in business matters at that place by the retirement of Mr. Eberly fronii 
the firm of Eberly & Barker. 

G. M. Titus bought the Templeton store in March. 1905, of O. O.. 
England and was appointed P. M. at that office. 

At Alpena on January ist, 1904, ]\I. S. Rahn leased the restaurant of 
R. \\\ Wiley, and took possession the same day. Since then this property 
has changed hands so often that it is almost impossible to give a com- 
plete record of it. 

In the forepart of March T. B. Yegge traded his stock of merchandise 
to J. R. Alilliken for a quarter section of land in Dale township. 

About May 20 another restaurant named "The Bon-ton" was opened 
at Alpena by a gentleman named Badger. 

May 25tli J. R. IMilliken and J. D. Chamberlain had an opening of 
their store in the old store room opposite the L O. O. F. hall. 

In the spring of the year Mrs. James Eastman began doing a milli- 
nery business in Alpena. This was the first permanent business of the 
kind in the town. 

At the village election, IMarch 15th, the saloon license was upheld by 
a majority of one vote. The institution did not live until the next year, 
however, because of legal complications arising from the sale of the con- 
cern by its proprietor, to parties who had given no bond, nor made appli- 
cation for a license. 

Some time in June Mr. J. F. Spencer came to Alpena and bought 
John Doubenmier's pool hall. 

In October A. Mercer finished a dipping tank at Alpena and began 
operations on the 15th of the month by dipping 116 head of cattle. 

A few days later Milliken & Chamberlain, who were actively engaged 
in real estate business, brought to Alpena a number of automobiles, the 
first to be owned in the town and probably the first in the county. One 
of these machines was sold to D. C. Wallace, of Wessington Springs. 

In the summer C. C. Rohr bought an interest with Castleman in the 
Alpena meat market. 

On February 25th a Women's Relief Corps was organized at Alpena 
in connection with W. H. L. Wallace G. A. R. post. 

A Yeoman lodge, with 30 members, was formed at Alpena about the 
20th of April, and about the same time a fire company with ten members- 
was formed. 

Memorial Day exercises were held at the German Lutheran Churcli 
in the south part of Alpena township. 

A Congregational Church was built in Anina township during the 
summer, to be supplied by the church at Wessington Springs. 

The County teachers' institute was held August 22 to Sept. 2, con- 


/. J!'. Douhenmier. 

F. E. Manning. 

Sam H. May. 

N. B. En inland. 


ducted by Prof. T. H. Hoff, assisted by John F. Wicks, Miss Irma Hall 
and Mrs. Ida Baker. 

During the summer a rural telephone line was established from Wes- 
sington Springs south into Viola township. 

In July, and the only time in the history of the county, a dense fog 
in heavy banks rolled over the state and all the northwest country west 
of the Mississippi river and blighted the wheat with black rust. No wind 
■\vas blowing and the heat of the sun poured in between the fog banks 
burst the wheat straw and in two hours time the immense crop was ruined. 
The yield of wheat was light and of poor quality, but the damage was 
somewhat retrieved by good prices. For the first time in years the price 
of wheat reached one dollar per bushel. 

The most important work of the county board was making the banks 
of the county depositories of county money requiring a bond for safe 
keeping of funds and payment of four per cent interest on daily balances. 

At the April meeting the places for conducting chattel mortgage sales 
Avere fixed at Alpena, Wessington Springs and the Fauston P. O. 

In politics the principal matter of interest was the election of a state 
capital. As the campaign progressed people in many cases dropped all 
kinds of work and spent their time riding from one candidate city to the 
other. No fare was charged and riding was unrestricted. The railway 
coaches were so packed with people that the conductors could not force 
their way through, and did not try. 

In county matters three tickets were in the field. Republican, Citizens 
and Prohibition. Of the Republican candidates, Theo. Dean, nominated 
for Co. Supt., refused the nomination and the county committee named 
W. B. Wilson for the vacancy on the ticket, so the tickets presented to 
the voters were as follows: 

Republican Ticket. 

Senator — R. S. Vessey. 
Representative — J. Jorgenson. 
Treasurer — D. C. Wallace. 
Auditor — J. D. Powell. 
Register of Deeds — C. J. Prafif. 
Co. Supt.— W. B. Wilson. 
Sheriff — J. D. Chamberlain. 
Judge — C. W. McDonald. 
Clerk— W. F. Taylor. 
.'\ttorney — C. C. Gleim. 
Coronor — H. E. Jenkinson. 
Co. Com., 1st Dist. — L. J. Grisinger. 


Citizens Ticket. 
Senator — T. L. White. 
Representative — Henry Klindt. 
Treasurer — Chas. Knudson. 
Auditor — J. A. Paddock. 
Register of Deeds — S. E. Pflamn. 
Clerk— H. A. Adebar. 
Sheriff— J. A. Zink. 
Co. Supt. — Geo. O. WilHams. 
Coronor — J. E. Shull. 
Co. Com., 1st Dist. — R. J. Tracy. 
Independent candidate for Co. Supt. — A. V. Hall. 

The result of the election was a Republican victory for everv pos'lio'.i 
except sheriff. 

Chapter 17. 


The beginning of the year 1905 found the people of Jerauld coun'y 
still hustling to keep pace with the prosperity that had come upon them. 
More residences must be built in both town and country ; more prairie 
must be broken, and more crops grown. The increasing value of land 
seemed at first to be only speculative, but the advance in the market price 
of cattle, hogs and grain, with the productiveness of the soil under pn.per 
cultivation together with the improved market facilities made the vahn.-s 
real. Land that a few years before could not be sold at any price vva> 
now sold at from $15 to $20 per acre, and most astonishing of all, paid 
for with a single crop of any kind of grain. New life was infused into 
the people and they bestirred themselves to take advantage of the favor- 
alle opportunities. 

The great lumber companies with yards at Wessington Springs re- 
ported more lumber sold at that station than any where else on their lines. 
At Lane, W. L. Smith, local agent for the Fullerton Lumber Company, 
received the company's prize of $100 for having the smallest percentage 
of unpaid accounts at the close of the year, of any of their agents. Not 
only were business collections generally good, but interest and taxes 
were promptly paid. 


During the conference year of 1905 the M. E. Church at Wessington 
Springs, Rev. Crowther, pastor, raised $500 for missionary work. The 
next year, 1906, same pastor, the amount was increased to $1,600; in 
1907 Rev. J. M. Tibbetts, pastor, $1,700 and in 1908, same pastor, $1,800. 

In January, Dr. Martin located at Lane, the Lane Pioneer News was 
made one of the county official papers and a pool hall was built and ready 
for business by the first of February. 

In March David Ried bought an interest in the livery stable of which 
be became sole owner in May. The township of Franklin voted saloon 
license by 30 majority and granted franchise for local telephone exchange 
to the Wessington Springs company. No exchange was put in, however, 
until in August, when F. McCurdy obtained a franchise and installed 25 
'phones in the town. The line had been extended south from Lane to 
Gordon P. O. in July, where it connected with the Wessington Springs 
line, which had been built to that point in June. March 25th the town- 
ship board granted the application of H. H. Fetterly and Fred Seifkin, 
but the bond was rejected by the county commissioners. Later, on 
August 1 2th, the commissioners approved the bond of Fred Seifken, by 
a divided vote, O. O. England voting no and L. J. Grisinger and Geo. 
C. Martin voting yes. The bond of Joseph Diedrich at Alpena was ap- 
proved on September 22nd by the same vote. 

In April Sever Starkey started .in the implement business in Lane, 
and about the same time the "Owl" restaurant was sold to Fred Oddy 
and the name changed to "The Hotel restaurant."" In the sam.e month a 
drug stock was brought to Lane and purchased by F. McCurdy who 
placed it in the large double building he had completed a short time be- 
fore. In May Mr. McCurdy began the construction of another building" 
south of his general store for use of the drug stock alone. The building 
was completed and occupied in November by W^alter ]\TcCurdy, in charge 
of the drug department. 

The W. W. Johnson Lumber Co. located a yard in Lane in April 
with H. O. Refvem, agent, and in the latter part of the month Wm. P)rod- 
korb purchased the meat market. The last of the month work began on 
the Whitney two story building. This structure was intended for a pool 
hall in the basement, and to it that sport was moved about the 15th of 
August, the first floor for a hardware and the 2nd story for a public hall, 
which plan was carried out. In December David Reid built a pool hall 
on the east side of Main street and that has been the location of the 
games of pool and billiards ever since. 

In May the water mains were laid deep in the ground and a system 
of waterworks permanently established. 

The German Lutheran Church in Lane was dedicated Mav 21st, and 


a few days later the German and English Epworth Leagues were united. 

The two events in June that attracted greatest local interest at Lane 
were the establishment of a furniture store by G. T. England, of W'essing- 
ton Springs, and a game of ball with the Alpena nine in which the Lane 
players were victorious by a score of 6 to 5. This practically established 
the prestige of the Lane ball nine, a distinction " in the county which 
they have maintained to the present time. 

In August N. P. Petersen began work in Lane as a blacksmith. Mr. 
Lewis Hare opened a barber shop and Airs. Hare established a millinery 

On Sept. 1 2th The Citizens State Bank of Lane was organized with 
a capital of $5,000; E. Soper, Jr., president; L. J. Grisinger, vice-presi- 
dent; Carl Klippin, cashier. The directors were A. Strub, F. McCurdy 
and Noah Kellar. 

This bank began doing business in the Grisinger building on the 
corner south from the Farmers State Bank. Mr. Whitney had moved 
the hardware stock across the street west into the building he had put 
up on that corner. 

On October 22nd Rev. John E. Hughes, Pastor, laid the corner stone 
of the first Congregational Church building at Lane. This church had 
been formed in 1903 with 14 members, with Rev. Reese of Wessington 
Springs supply. First pastor was Rev. Jas. Davies, 1903 to 1905. Third 
pastor, John E. Hughes, 1905 to 1907, followed by S. T. Beatty. 

In July C. A. Voorhees moved his stock of groceries to Lane from 
Wessington Springs, but in the autumn sold the business to H. D. But- 
terfield of Mitchell who placed J. H. Miller in charge. 

Sometime during the summer, or fall, Hayes Cunningham and Linde- 
bak bought the livery business again. 

About the middle of December F. E. Poole bought the barber busi- 
ness of Mr. Hare and has conducted the business ever since. 

In March of this year Shultz and Starkey, the artesian well men, 
completed a well for Henry Keiriem at 727 feet, in Franklin township. 

In Chery township two more wells were completed during Julv — 
one for E. S. Dowling and one for M. Brenneman. 

On the old John Teasdale farm in Dale township, now owned bv 
Michael Wahl, a well was put down by Jensen in May, 810 feet. The 
work was done in four days. 

The Fourth of July celebrations this year, (1905) were at Peirce's 
Grove in Harmony township, and the G. A. R. celebration July 3rd. 4th 
and 5th at Alpena. 

In 1905 W. S. Crist brought some registered Durham cattle to Jer- 
auld county and located in Crow Lake township. This herd was gathered 


in Shelby county. Iowa, and contained some of the best bred short horns 
in that state. 

In Viola township a Sunday School and Epworth League convention 
was held at the German Methodist Church, commencing February 15th 
and continuing one week. 

The postmaster at Gordon resigned in July. 

In Anina township the Congregational Church was dedicated May 
7th. During the summer the telephone line was extended west from the 
Kellogg farm in Anina to the A^essey farm in Crow Lake township. 

In the summer of 1905 a meeting was held at the residence of An- 
drew Pflamn in Logan township, by a few members of the Catholic 
Church at which it was decided to build a church edifice on section 20 
in Crow Lake township, to cost about $1,500. At the meeting mentioned 
$600 was subscribed. Work on the church commenced at once and 
mainly through the efforts of Anton Reindl the money was raised and 
the building completed. The church was ready for dedication in the late 
autumn of that year. It was named "St. Marys." It stands near the 
south line of section 20 and is surrounded by a cleanly kept, beautiful 
church yard. In the cemetery are two graves, (1908), one that of an 
infant child of Mr. and Mrs. Petroski, but has no inscription on the head 
board. On the other grave stands a pretty monument. In German text, 
on a white plate, is this inscription. "Heir richt Anton Reindl, geb zu 
Reitz in Osteweich den 10 Juni, 1848, gest in Crow Lake, So. Dak. den 
7 Juli, 1905." On a lower plate are the words, also in German text, 
"Nur in der Kirche ist Mein Heil." 

The last work of Anton Reindl was building the foundation of this 
church. While engaged in that work he contracted the sickness from 
which he died before the edifice was completed. The church society was 
organized by Father O'Flaherty, of the Kimball parish. 

In April a cream buying station was established at Crow Lake by 
Turner & Son, of Mitchell. 

On July 6th while helping to dip cattle at a dipping tank located at 
Frank Smith's farm in Pleasant township, D. B. Paddock, of Logan town- 
ship, ex-county commissioner, was struck by lightning and killed in- 
stantly. A few weeks later, Sept. i6th, Ludwig Pfaff, of Crow town- 
ship, was also killed by lightning. 

At Alpena Castleman and Rohr dissolved partnership January ist. 
the latter remaining in charge of the market at Alpena and the former 
retaining the business at Lane until he sold to Wm. r)rodkorb in April. 

In the second week in Januarv Mason Smith sold the Revere House 
to W. W. Ilillis. 

Chamljerlain & Milliken sold part of their mercantile stock to J. H. 


Creighton the latter part of January to be moved to \\'essington Springs, 
and the balance to J\Irs. L. W. Castleman. 

On January 20th a lodge of Home Guardians with 22, members was 

About the 20th of ]\Iarch Frank C. Wood bought tht Alpena res- 
taurant of H. A. Leighton. 

In the early autumn Airs. ^^'. G. ]\Iilliken purchased I\Irs. Eastman's 
millinery business. 

In October A. N. Louder sold his mercantile business to E. \\ ]\Iiles 
and E. E. Hunter. 

During the same year August Holmes opened a jewelry store in 

In December, 1905, Pat ]\IcDonald began building an implement 
warehouse on the north side of ]Main street west of Tripp's drug store. 

From the public schools of Alpena four young ladies graduated on 
-May 25th. The class was composed of Misses Gertrude and May Cham- 
berlain, Lizzie Smith and IMattie Hatch. 

This year another move was made by parties from Sanborn county to 
divide Jerauld county so as to add Alpena, Blaine and Franklin town- 
ships to the county on the east. The move failed and now that Woon- 
socket has a new court house the attempt will probably never be made 

On June 14th a swarm of bees alighted in Mr. A. F. Smith's yard 
and were captured and hived by H. C. Newmier. From whence the little 
strangers came no one could imagine. 

In Sept. a star postal route was established running east from Alpena 
with W. H. Mc^NIillan carrier. 

About $900 W'Cre spent during the summer in repairing and reseating 
the Alpena M. E. Church. 

At Wessington Springs : 

F. M. Steere sold to J. B. Collins his interest in the telephone ex- 
change in January and in the same month the Wessington Springs 
creamery was leased to the Turner Produce Co. of Mitchell. 

In February J. H. Creighthon opened a store on the northeast corner 
of Main and 2nd streets. 

About the middle of the month Mrs. Minnie Easton moved her milli- 
nery stock into the Housman building adjoining Dr. Cooper's office and 
established the first permanent independent millinery shop in the town. 

The White, Zink & Farrington warehouse north of Main street, on 
First street, was completed in March. In August, however, Mr. White 
retired from the firm and bought the R. M. McNeil stock and building 
on the south side of Main street, 


In March and April the local telephone company extended their line 
east and north. 

March 21st W'essington Springs incorporated as a city of the third 
class and the first meeting of the city council was on the evening of 
May 1st. 

In April B. D. Olson sold his barber shop to Herbert Hryson and 
Ensley Shaw, and during the same month C. S. Jacobs formed a part- 
nership with his two sons, Howard and Lewis, in the harness business. 

K. S. Starkey put up a store building on Second Street at the crossing 
of the section line road and in November filled it with a stock of mer- 

In Jul}- Gus Xordlie. a tailor, located in Wessington Springs and 
o])ened a shop. In the same month J. I*". Spencer bought the Bateman 
meat market. 

August 3rd Wm. Brimner began work on the foundation of the opera 
liouse. The building was completed and opened for amusements on the 
3rd of November. 

Sept. 1st L. E. Ausman located at Wessington Springs and engaged 
in real estate business with F. M. Steere. 

On October 2nd work was commenced on the Catholic Church in 
^^'essington Springs. 

The State Bank began work on their brick building at the southwest 
corner of Second and Main streets in the early fall and continued to the 
close of the year. 

John W. Snart put up a building on Third street in which R. A. 
Bushnell subsequently started his electric light plant, and on Oct. nth 
Ijegan grinding feed there. In the same month Martin jjjorlo became 
owner of the Slocum studio and a few days later L. R. Theeler bought 
the Clark dray line. 

December 21st an Eastern Star Chai)ter with 20 members was formed 
at Wessington Springs. 

On December 31st G. W. Bakus retired from the Dakota Sieve and 
was succeeded by Fred N. Dunham to whom he had sold the jjaper a 
few weeks before. The paper was changed to Republican in politics. 

In the proceedings of the county board but little of interest occurred. 
.Kt the January meeting Geo. C. Martin was made chairman. ( )n March 
i<Sth at a meeting of the cattle owners of the county, called by the county 
auditor, L. F. Russell, was elected cattle inspector. Then the county com- 
missioners went at work to aid the inspector to stamp out a disease that 
had appeared among the livestock. Dipping tanks were built in various 
parts of the county, iat public expense and some of those already erected 
were purchased. It was expensive work but so thoroughly did Mr. Rus- 


sell and his assistants do their duty that in two years the quarantine was 

On April 7th the Wessington Springs telephone company was granted 
permission to set poles along the public highways of the county. 

August 1 2th the commissioners re-districted the county into the fol- 
lowing commissioner districts : 

1st District — Blaine, Franklin, Alpena. 

2nd District^ — Viola, Wessington Springs, Dale. 

3rd District^ — All the balance of the county. 

During the year ending April ist, 1905, the banks paid interest money 
to the amount of $415.96 on county deposits. 

The teachers' county institute was held the 21st of August and con- 
tinued two weeks with Prof. J. Jones, Jr., conductor, assisted by John F. 
Wicks and Miss Westcott. 

At the Wessington ^Springs Seminary the graduating class was Mabel 
Seger, Bertha Starkey, Wilson Slocum, Ethel Seacord, A. D. Sprouse, 
Charles Cook, Hugh Short, Olaf Rosengren, Roy Eagle, Leonard Hitch- 
man, Val La Bau. 

The Mt. Vernon mail route was discontinued June ist and the mail 
carried oniy to Gordon P. O. A. V. Hall became the driver on this 
route, while J. H. Vessey took the route from Wessington Springs to 

Charles Walters, the postmaster at Gordon, resigned Sept. 2nd and 
on the 19th of the same month he turned the office over to Fred Kieser, 
his successor. Ten days later, (Sept. 29th), the postmaster at Wessing- 
ton Springs was authorized by the department at Washington to establish 
Dec. 1st, 1905, Rural Free Delivery, Route No. i from that office as fol- 
lows : Go east from the Wessington Springs office to the section line, 
then south 5 % miles to the southeast corner of section 7 ; then west 2 
miles to the southeast corner of section 1 1 ; then south 3 miles to the 
southeast corner of section 26 ; then east 4 miles to the southeast corner 
of section 28; then north 4 miles to the south east corner of section 4; 
then east i mile to the southeast corner of section 3 ; then north 5 miles 
to the southeast corner of section 10; then west and south 4 miles to the 
Wessington Springs P. O., making a total distance of 29% miles. An 
examination for carrier was held and Jay Dodge was given the position 
at $750 per year, including horse hire. 

A census of the county taken by the assessors in June showed but 
1,152 children in the county of school age — but 127 more than at the 
time of the great blizzard in i5 


Chapter 18. 

(1906). — 

The year 1906 was ushered in with an exceedingly mild winter. While 
the states east and south were suffering the severities of vigorous cold 
the plains of Dakota seemed the abode of summer. On the i8th of 
February the writer found great numbers of grasshoppers, alive and 
jumping, on one of the highest points of the Wessington Hills. But 
little snow fell during the wdnter and there was no sleighing. The never- 
failing April storm came, however, with more than its usual amount of 
wind and snow. But as people had learned to guard against this spring 
storm, only sleight damage was done. 

In March Supt. Wilson began preparation for a county spelling con- 
test to be held on the 7th of April. One thousand words were printed 
and distributed among the children of the county public schools. Each 
school had its trial of skill and sent its champion to the county contest. 
Numerous prizes were offered and the interest was great. The first prize 
was won by Miss Allie Nesmith, of Viola township. The judges could not 
say, however, that Miss Alarie Davis of the same township had missed a 
single word. Miss Nesmith had certainly not missed any and so the 
decission turned on the penmanship. One letter in Miss Davis manuscript 
was doubtful, therefore, she was given the second prize. A free-for-all 
contest was then held for a set of books offered b}- the Jerauld Count}' 
Review. For this prize Miss Allie Nesmith. of A'iola township, and 
Earnest Simmons, of Dale township, were a tie and the set of books was 

In April two steam breaking outfits were started in W^essington 
Springs township — one by J. A. Zink with two 3-plow gangs, on the C. 
E. Baker farm and the other by Leo Richardson, one four-plow gang, on 
the farm of Lewis Tofflemeier. 

The teachers' county institute w^as held during the two weeks com- 
mencing June 18th, Prof. Jones, conductor. This had the largest attend- 
ance of any institute ever held in the county — the enrollment being 165. 
John Wicks was again one of the assistant conductors. 

The total assessed valuation of the county this year was $2,520,530. 
In March there were but 541 farms in the county having 63,778 cultivated 
acres, over one-sixth of which was in Blaine township and but 740 in 
Crow township. 

On Sept. 18, 19 and 20 a county fair was held at Wessington Springs 
and was largely attended. 

About the middle of July the Alpena Telephone Co. was granted a 
right to set poles along the county highways. 


A farmers telephone company was incorporated about May ist to 
construct a line west from Alpena to the west line of the county. The 
officers were Will Linn, president; Peter Alyron, secretary; Michael 
Wahl, treasurer. The directors were F. M. Shull, A. McLoud, Will 
Linn, Henry Beck, Harry Shefield. Work on this line began about the 
middle of June and was completed about the middle of August. It was 
connected at D. M. Brenneman's with line from Wesington Springs. 
The telephone line running northeast from Alpena was put in working 
order about the 15th of July. 

On May 24th the people of the west half of the county enjoyed a pic- 
nic at Crow Lake for the benefit of the Catholic Church in that township. 
Financially it was a success. Father O'Flaherty, of the Kimball parish, 
delivered an address on patriotism that has probably never been excelled 
in the county. On the 12th of Sept. St. Mary's Church was dedicated, 
according to the rites of the society. 

x^t Lane the Congregational Church building was dedicated free from 
debt. The dedication sermon was by Mrs. Abi T. Huntley. 

Sept. 1st Rev. Greve resigned from the Lane German Lutheran 
Church and was succeeded Oct. loth by Rev. Sclinski. 

In the first week of January A. H. Hawley purchased the England 
stock of furniture at Lane, but three months later sold it to D. J. Walker. 
About the same time that Hawley bought the furniture business Mr. 
C. A. Voorhees became proprietor of the McCurdy hotel at Lane, and on 
January 25th Mr. Poole bought Dave Reid's pool hall. Dave Reid then 
purchased the dray line from Cunningham & Lindebak and took Andrew 
Reid in as a partner. They continued the business until Nov. ist when 
they sold to Goll & Jonker. 

On February 3rd a deal was made between F. A. Franzwa and A. J. 
Brandenburg and his son. Otto, by which the two latter became owners 
of the formers building and mercantile stock which they managed until 
November 19th of the same year, when they sold the stock to Messrs. 
Burton & Craft, of Mitchell, but retained title to the building. 

About October ist Henry Schoen bought an interest in the meat 


At the spring election the license question was before the people again 
and the saloon was sustained by a vote of 32 to 15. 

Geo. Nelson bought the blacksmith business of N. P. Petersen about 
the first of September and the latter then turned his attention to the imple- 
ment business. 

On October nth Dr. Martin left Lane to seek another location. On 
Oct. 25th Dr. Burleigh located in Lane and soon after built an office at 
the south end of Main street. 


W'. Z. Sharpe, of Artesian, built an elevator at Lane during the sum- 
mer, completing it in time for the fall business. 

In Chery township C. J. Bliss tried a novel experiment on his ranch. 
He was fatting a couple of car loads of cattle for the eastern market. 
Instead of turning hogs in the yards with the steers he bought 500 turkeys 
and turned them in. It was a great success. In January he shipped two 
tons of dressed turkeys to Boston, after having fed them but a few weeks 
with the cattle. 

H. P. Will, of Logan township, was elected cattle inspector January 
17th, 1906. 

In Blaine township John Steichen completed his artesian well in July. 

In the summer of this year L. N. Nesselroad located at Wessington 
Springs with a herd of registered Durham and Hereford cattle. From 
this herd many of the highest types of animals were sold to different 
parts of South Dakota and adjoining states. 

Among the business changes at Alpena was one by which John 
Schamber, former state treasurer, became vice president of the Bank of 
Alpena, his son, R. E. Schamber, cashier, and J. R. Milliken, president. 

Wm. Scheel bought the furniture business on the 6th day of March. 

Dr. P. E. Burns, from Hornick, Iowa, located in Alpena, in fune, to 
practice medicine in partnership with Dr. J. E. Shull. 

In September J. W. Doubenmier and F. E. Manning formed a part- 
nership to do real estate business in the name of the Alpena and Western 
Land Co. 

About the same time W. W. Hillis leased the Revere House to Mrs. 
G. W. Phillips. 

On Nov. 7 Sunday trains began running between Aberdeen and 
Sioux City. 

Dec. 15th Geo. Hatch sold his livery barn and stock to Thompson 

Business changes at Wessington Springs were also quite numerous. 
In January Wm. Burger purchased the A. V. Hall confectionery busi- 
ness, and in February the creamery was sold to Turner Produce Co., of 

The name of The Dakota Sieve was changed on March ist to "Jer- 
auld County Review." In the same month the Wessington Springs State 
Bank moved into its new brick building on the southwest corner of Main 
and 2nd streets. About the same time Henry Hermsen, of Coon Rapids. 
Iowa, bought the Bryson-Shaw barber shop. 

In March, also, R. A. Bushnell took charge of the feed mill he had 
purchased from J. W. Snart. Later in the year, (in Dec.) Mr. Bushnell 
obtained from the city council a franchise to operate an electric light 


R. A. BushncU. TIws. Shryock. Joint Alouiisey. Otto Bnindenhuri 

H. B. Fern 

Fred X . Dunham H. O. Refvem. 


system in Wessington Spring's, the power being furnished from the 
engines in his feed mill. 

It was during the month of ]March, too, that Mrs. Gehan and her 
son, John, sold the Willard Hotel to Air. John Yerry, who took possession 
the first of the following October. 

In the same month Mrs. N. B. England opened a millinery shop on 
the south side of Main St., east of the Brodkorb store. 

About this time a man named Love came from Madison and organized 
a branch of the American Society of Equity with 35 members, John 
Mounsey, president; J. A. Paddock, secretary. The purpose of this 
organization was to regulate the price of farm products. As yet its efifect 
has not been materially felt. 

At the commencement exercises on June 6th the seminary granted 
diplomas to Amy A. Cook, Ethel V. Ford, George Hubbard, Sylvia Mc- 
Clellan, Geo. Kennedy, May Cook and Alice Vennard. 

In July Bert Healy sold his rackett-store to R. M. McNeil and J. H. 
Creighton made a deal with Harry Webber by which the latter became 
the owner of the former's mercantile business in Wessington Springs. 
In the same month Norman Zink bought an interest in the A. W. 
Richardson livery business and started a bus line. 

About the first of August Alden Cutler, an attorney, of Ames, Iowa, 
established a law office in Wessington Springs. 

During the last week in August the W. T. George Co. sold their 
mercantile stock to Miles & Hunter, who had sold their Alpena store to 
F. A. Franzwa. 

Dr. G. H. Richards located in Wessington Springs about September 

In Nov. C. T. Christenson put up a building adjoining the Brodkorb 
building on the east. 

On November 20th a special election was held to vote bonds m tht^ 
sum of $2,150 to buy the site for the present public school building, at a 
cost of $2,000. 

L. A. Mead began operations as a stock buyer at Wessington Springs 
in November. 

Dr. Burleigh, of Lane, in November and December built a drug store 
building on the north side of Main street, adjoining Mrs. Easton's millinery 
store on the east, and in it Harry Frick began business as a druggist just 
before the holidays. 

A P. E. O. society was formed October 24th. This is a secret organ- 
ization, to a membership in which only ladies are eligible. The organiza- 
tion was the fourth of its kind in the state. The charter members were 
Mrs. Cora Miller, president, Miss Edna Butterfield, Miss Florence Moul- 


ton, Airs. Sarah Jacobs, Miss Cora England, ]\Iiss Myrtle McCray, ]\Irs. 
Mae Vessey, Mrs. Eva Campbell, Miss Myrtle Clark and Mrs. Roy Mc- 
Neil. Its name was "Chapter E." 

At Alpena work on the Presbyterian parsonage began in May. 

At the close of the spring term of the Alpena school the following 
class was graduated : Percy Collier, Fred Hatch, Floyd Barber, Lea 

Probably at no time since the days of the old Waterbury ball team, 
had so much interest centered about the national game in Jerauld county 
as during the year 1906. The sport commenced when the Lane nine de- 
feated Woonsocket May 20th. • 

The next game was on June 8th when Alpena was defeated by Wes- 
sington Springs, score 3 to 2. The winning "team in this game played 
Lane on June 12th and won 6 to 4. Then came the game at the old 
settlers' picnic, always a game of great interest, when the Lane team de- 
feated Wessington Springs, in a very close score. On June 20th Wes- 
sington Springs played Artesian and won 8 to i. 

On June 30th Messrs. S. C. Scott, Chas. B. Marquis and W. H. 
Childs, of Lyons, Iowa, and E. H. Wood, real estate dealers, who had 
bought and sold a great deal of Jerauld county land, offered for sale at 
auction a large number of town lots that they had platted on some land 
ad joining, the town of Lane. The land they had purchased embraced the 
Grisinger grove which was christened "Marquis Park." In preparing for 
this town lot sale a game of ball between the Wessington Springs and 
Lane teams was planned. The game was a most interesting one and 
resulted in a victory for Lane by a score of 3 to i. 

Four days later the same teams crossed bats at the Wessington Springs 
celebration w^iere the score was 3 to o in favor of Wessington Springs. 
On July 7th Lane again defeated Wessington Springs by a score of 3 
to I. 

July 1 8th Lane again defeated Woonsocket by a score of 7 to 2. 

July nth Wessington Springs defeated Howard by a score of 4 to o, 
and a few days later in a close game between the same teams at Howard 
at the end of ten innings the score stood 2 to i in favor of the Jerauld 
county team. There followed a series of games by the Wessington 
Springs team with one from Letcher. Five games were played of which 
Letcher won three. Two of these games were played on August 24th 
and 25th at Wessington Springs. So great was the interest that all 
business houses in Wessington Springs were closed during the games. 
The game on the 24th resulted 5 to 3 for Letcher, but the one on the 
25th was won by the home team i to o — the only "shut-out" of the 


The Wessington Springs team was made up of the following players : 
Chas. Debenham, pitcher ; S. E. Pflamn, pitcher ; Frank Dickerson. 
catcher ; S. J. Whitney, T. F. Vessey, Earnest Vessey, Wm. Zink, Fred 
N. Dunham, C. R. Wetherell, Emil Swanson. 

In politics a good deal of interest centered about the election as usual. 
The tickets were as follows : 


State Senator — R. S. Vessey. 

Representative — H. B. Ferren. 

Treasurer — L. F. Russell. 

Auditor — H. O. Refvem. 

Register of Deeds— C. J. Pfaff. 

County Superintendent — W. B. Wilson. 

Sheriff— H. A. Butler. 

Judge — C. C. Gleim. 

Clerk of Courts — W. F. Taylor. 

Attorney — J. G. Bradford. 

Coronor — P. E. Burns. 

Co. Com., 2nd Dist. — O. O. England. 

Co. Com., 3rd Dist. — Theo. Dean. 


State Senator — Geo. Sickler. 
Representative — \Vm. Zink. 
Treasurer — John Steichen. 
Auditor — G. W. Backus. 
Register of Deeds — G. C. Scofield. 
Sheriff— J. A. Zink. 
Clerk of Courts — Joseph Sailer. 
• Co. Supt. — Dora Shull. 
Coronor — O. J. Marshall. 
Co. Co., 2nd Dist. — R. J. Tracy. 
Co. Com., 3rd Dist. — M. A. Schaefer. 

Wm. Zink for representative and J. A. Zink for sheriff were both 
elected, all the other positions were caried by the Republicans. 

Before entering upon his duties as county treasurer Mr. Russell sold 
his herd of Hereford cattle to L. A. Pinard of Chery township. This herd 
had been started by Mr. Pinard and Mr. Russell in partnership in 1893. 
In 1900 they divided the herd each taking half. The cattle were now 
united again under the ownership of Mr. Pinard, and comprised some of 
the best animals ever brought on to the plains. 


Mr. and Airs. Jos. T. Ferguson. 

L. X. Xcssclroad. 

H. P. Will. 

Miss Dora Shull. 

Aldcn Cutler 


Chapter 19. 


At the first meeting in January the county commissioners elected L. 
J. Grisinger chairman of the board for the ensuing two years. 

On July 8th W. F. Taylor resigned his position as clerk of courts 
and C. W. McDonald was appointed to fill the vacancy. At the same 
meeting the board appropriated $600 to complete the grading of the 
county road extending from the top of the grade west of Wessington 
Springs to the top of the hill west of the Schubert residence in Media 
township which had become almost impassable because of the heavy rains. 

There was considerable activity in religious matters in the county 
during the year 1907. A district convention of foreign missionary socie- 
ties was held at Alpena on June 21st and 22nd. 

A Free Methodist Sunday School convention was held in April on 
the 4th and 5th of the month. 

In May a missionary society was formed by the Friends" church in 
Harmony township. 

In Viola township a Methodist church was erected in August and 
September and named Tibbetts Chapel in honor of the minister who then 
had the Wessington Springs pastorate. This building was dedicated 
October 27th. The Solberg Lutheran edifice was dedicated Sept. 22nd 
in the nortwest part of Blaine township. 

The Lutheran Church, of the Missouri synod, which since 1902 had 
been holding its meetings at the Meyers School house in Blaine township, 
built a church at Lane, laying the foundation in June and completing the 
structure in October. They began holding meetings in the new church in 
November. This society had been organized by Rev. R. Ulhman, in 
1902, with 16 charter members. 

The annual state conference of the Free Methodist church occurred 
at Wessington Springs, Sept. 25th to 30th. 

A county Sunday school convention was held at the same place on 
October 8th. 

About July 25th Rev. S. F. Beatty became pastor of the Lane Con- 
gregational church. 

In business circles there was the usual activity. On January 1st J. 
R. Milliken, who had previously bought Schamber's interest in tlie Bank 
of Alpena, sold that institution to J. E. Schull, who became its president, 
J. W. Doubenmier, vice-president, and F. E. Manning, cashier. 

At the railway depot in Alpena, C. G. Boom having been transferred 
to Groton, Theo. Beuhler was put in his place the latter part of January. 


In April the business men of Alpena formed the Alpena Improvement 
Association, which was incorporated May 14th. Twenty acres were 
bought in the west part of the village and on it a race track was prepared. 
The first racing meet occurred on Sept. 4th, 5th and 6th. Horses were 
entered from Huron, Carthage, Plankinton and Alpena. The first trot- 
ting race was won by W. H. McMillan's horse, "Dan Sprague," and the 
first running race by Frank Shull's gelding, Ukiah. 

In the school at Alpena, on May 22nd Beulah Milliken, Susie Rankin, 
Grace Ketchum, Flossie Hillis, Jessie Beals and. Matthew Smith gradu- 
ated from the high school department, the teacher being Prof. Hendrick- 
son. In the autumn this educator accepted a position as teacher of 
mathematics in the Wessington Springs Seminary. 

In the last week of August W. W. Hillis bought Tripp's drug stock 
and business, and united the two stocks. 

Oct. 24th W. W. Hillis again took charge of the Revere House. 

About the first of November Mason and Manzo Smith bought the A. 
W. Holmes jewelry business. 

C. W. Miller became proprietor of the Alpena Owl Restaurant in the 
fall of the year and retained it until early in the next year when he sold 
it to Mrs. G. C. Haskins. 

About the first of December a tri-weekly rural route was established 
to run south and west from Alpena with Joseph Baldwin, driver, at a 
salary of $540 per year. 

At Lane J. W. Mueller purchased the stock of goods owned by H. D. 
Butterfield, and took Mr. W. Wood in as a partner. This deal was made 
about January loth. 

About the same time Mrs. A. M. Johnson sold her millinery stock 
to Mrs. Shreve. 

February ist the Farmers' State Bank at Lane increased its capital 
to $12,000. 

On February 27th the town of Lane voted to incorporate, taking in 
the south half of section 17 and the north half of section 20. 

In March Mr. F. McCurdy sold his mercantile business to Ira Stim- 
son and a gentleman named Organ, both from Dubuque, Iowa. 

About March 5th F. C. Wood succeeded Mr. Oddy as proprietor of 
the restaurant. 

In May Mrs. Phillip became proprietor of the hotel business in Lane, 
succeeding David Reid. 

On June 20 an I. O. O. F. lodge with 24 members was organized with 
Dr. Burleigh, N. G. ; C. Fetzmer, V. G. ; C. A. Kleppin, Sec. ; L. J. 
Grisinger, Treas. 


June 29th was Lane's day of field sports in which all of the east half 
of the county participated. 

On July 1st the Lane saloon closed its doors. 

August 17th the independent school district of Lane voted to issue 
$3,000 of bonds to build a new school house. 

A month later, Sept. 17th, work was commenced on the Citizens State 
Bank building on the east side of Main street and a week later work be- 
gan on the new school house. 

The next month Mr. Towsley bought the pool hall and contents of 
Mr. Poole. 

On October 19th Craft and Burton sold their stock of merchandise 
to J. J. Fitzgerald & Son, who on the 7th of December sold the same 
property to A. J. Brandenburg and his son, Otto Brandenburg. 

In the latter part of October Anderson Harris sold the Lane hardware 
stock to Oliver Anderson, to give possession Jan. ist, 1908. 

In November R. H. Crerar bought the furniture business of D. J. 

In Chery township a branch of Wessington Springs telephone line 
was built from Arthur Beers' farm north to connect with the Alpena line. 

The county teachers institute began a one week session on July 8th. 

Beginning in the forepart of December teachers' institutes were held 
during the following winter in most of the townships of the county. 

For many years it had been the custom of some one of the settlers 
who came to the county before the rush of 1883 to give a "pioneer" din- 
ner on Thanksgiving day to the others of those who came in 1880, 188 1 
or 1882. In 1907 this dinner was given by Rev. J. G. Campbell. Besides 
the family of the host there were present the- families of Thos. Shryock. 
Rev. A. B. Snart, M. Sheppard, C. W. McDonald. Louis Tofflemier, E. 
W. Simmons and John Francis. 

A bowling alley was put in operation at Wessington Springs in 

In the same month a farmers* institute by authority of the state was 
conducted at Wessington Springs for two days by A. E. Chamberlain, a 
lawyer, of Howard. 

On March ist W. F. Bancroft sold the "True Republican" to L. S. 
Dubois, of Huron. 

On March nth, A. V. Hall began carrying the mail over rural route 
No. I, in place of Jay Dodge who had resigned. 

Ten days later R. A. Bushnell placed an engine in his feed mill and 
prepared to give the city a system of electric lights. The lights were 
first utrned on in May. 


R. S. P^csscy. 


Zink & Richardson dissolved partnership the ist of May, Zink con- 
tinuing the dray and bus Hne and Richardson retaining the Hvery. 

At the Seminary commencement exercises held on June nth the 
graduating class were, Susie B. Kennedy, Mamie A. Reid, Eva G. Gil- 
fillan, and Minnie C. Donaghue. 

The Congregational churches in Lane and Anina townships were 
united under one pastorate in the early summer, Rev. Beatty, minister, 
and at the same time the churches of that denomination at Wessington 
Springs and Fauston were united under Rev. Reynolds as pastor, though 
each church retained its separate organization. 

In July the city made another effort to obtain means of protection 
against fire. An agent visited Wessington Springs and demonstrated how 
easily a chemical engine would extinguish the fiercest fire. The council, 
acting on the advise of almost everybody, bought one. 

A farmers' elevator company with $25,000 authorized capital was 
formed July 26th with John Mounsey, president. The directors were 
E. B. Orr, John Mounsey, C. M. Brenneman, E. B. Maris, O. W. Alore- 
head, Geo. C. Martin and J. L. Sedgwick. The company purchased the 
Hyde elevator, taking possession August 15th. 

By August the Wessington Springs Telephone Company had mcreased 
its system, until it had fifteen lines extending to different parts of the 
county. The next month the company built an office on the west side of 
2nd street on the alley south of the State Bank. 

Sept. 21 St the business men of Wessington Springs raised a bonus of 
$2,000 and arranged with J. L. Coram to put up a hotel such as the 
growing importance of the town demanded. Work on the new hotel 
began about the middle of October. 

On December 23rd the people of the indepedendent school district 
voted bonds in the sum of $10,000 with which to build a new brick 
school house. 

Early in the summer of 1907 the business men of Wessington Springs 
employed a team of ball players which they named "The Cowboys" and 
sent them out on a tour of eastern South Dakota, and Iowa and Illinois. 
It was an advertising project for the town and as such it was a success — 
though expensive. The team visited Sioux Falls and Canton in this 
state, and then went to Sheldon, Spencer, Soo Rapids, Ft. Dodge, Hum- 
boldt, Britt, Forest City, Garner, Mason City, Osage, Charles City, 
Clarksville, Waverly, Elizabeth, Davenport, Sabula and Charlotte, in 
Iowa and Savana, Galena and Dixon in Illinois. They plyed thirty-two 
games with the most skillful teams in the country through which they 
traveled, winning twenty-three of them. 


In May the Alpena ball team played three games with Woonsocket 
winning all of them, and on June ist played with Letcher, being beaten 
by a score of i to o. During the Alpena field days in September the Alpena 
team defeated Wessington Springs by a score of 6 to 2, and Cavour 3 to o. 

In October the markets had improved so that wheat sold at 95c, oats 
41, barley 82, shelled corn 46c, flax $1.05 and hogs $5.20. 

In Viola township O. W. Morehead and Chas. Wood secured ar- 
tesian M^ells in August. 

The only thing occurring this year to effect political matters in Jerauld 
county, was an act passed by the legislature of 1907 placing Jerauld and 
Sanborn counties together in one senatorial district. 

Another event of a political nature that occurred in Jerauld county, 
but only affecting state affairs, was the announcement in December of 
R. S. Vessey's candidacy for the position of governor. 

The financial panic of 1907 came in October and was a surprise to 
the banks of Jerauld county as well as to other institutions throughout 
the country. But not a failure occurred. While at Wessington Springs 
the banks paid but $25.00 on any one check in a day, no cashier's certi- 
ficates were issued by either of the banks. At Alpena and Lane all 
checks were paid in full as presented. 

Chapter 20. 


Of the events of local importance that occurred in different parts of 
the county, one was the opening of a catechism school by Rev. Witter, 
of Lane, in the Shultz school house in Viola township. 

On July 4th the German and English Sunday schools of Viola town- 
ship united for a celebration at Clodt's grove. 

In Logan township the most important events of a public nature were 
the completion of the telephone line from Kimball to Glen which was 
done in July. The P. O. at Glen was discontinued and a R. F. D. route 
was established in February. 

In Anina township on July nth, Jas. T. Ferguson, treasurer, paid off 
the last of the debt contracted in 1884 to build the school houses. 

On October Walter A. Hyde bought the Templeton store of G. M. 
Titus and became postmaster at that office. 










In Marlar township C. F. Scofield resigned as postmaster at Hyde 
postoffice and the office was moved to the residence of L. W. Kreidler 
on Feb. 21. 

In the town of Lane the building for the Citizens State Bank, on 
West side of Main street, was completed in January and became the home 
of that institution. 

On the first day of the same month W. R. Hubbard became part 
owner and cashier of the Farmers' State Bank. 

On the 15th of January the public school moved into the new school 

Mr. J. H. Mueller, of the firm of Mueller & Wood committed suicide 
on the 2nd day of January and on the 19th of March, Ira Stunson pur- 
chased their stock of goods. 

On December 3rd, the first church bell in the town of Lane was put 
in position in the Congregational church. 

At Alpena Mason and Manzo Smith sold their stock of jewelry to 
Loren Laghry, on January ist. 

In connection with the Presbyterian church, a Y. P. S. C. E. was 
organized on January 20th. 

A daily rural free delivery route Avas established February ist run- 
ning south and west with J. F. Baldwin carrier. 

M. G. Shull, who had purchased in 1906, the pool hall from J. F. 
Spencer, sold that institution to Roy Triplett during the first week in 

A few days later C. C. Rohr sold the Alpena meat market to F. 
Mann, of Iroquois. 

On March loth Dr. D. D. Burns formed a partnership with his 
brother, Dr. P. E. Burns, and located in Alpena to practice his profession. 

In the Presbyterian church Rev. Williamson resigned his pastorate 
April 5th and was succeeded by Rev. D. J. McLeod. 

In April a rural free delivery route was established to run northeast 
of Alpena with Edgar Wales as carrier. He was succeeded in July by 
E. P. Kelly. 

During the night of June i6th occurred one of the most remarkable 
things in the history of the country. Shortly after midnight there came 
a terrific down pour of rain. In the morning every little pool that con- 
tained a bucketful of water had in it from one to a dozen or more pickerel 
minnows, all about two inches in length. 

Alpena had a celebration on the 3rd and 4th of July at which the 
races on the course were excellent. 

An exceptionally pleasing feature of the two-days of sport was the 
Shetland pony race. The animals were all owned in Alpena. Five ponies 







entered the race ; Topsy, owned by Roy Millhause ; Crickett, owned by 
LaRne Manwaring; Silver Bell, owned by Mary Castleman; Gold Dust, 
by Cleo Castleman ; Dandy, by L. W. Castleman. They made the quarter- 
mile dash in a bunch. The first heat was won by Crickett, Everett Has- 
kins, rider; but the little mare Topsy, ridden by Orville Eaton, was so 
close a second that interest in the second heat ran high. Again the bunch 
of boys and girls and ponies came over the course, all close together, and 
Topsy won by half a length. It was evident by this time that the first 
place lay between Topsy and Crickett. In the third heat the line of 
racers was more extended, but the little mare and her small competitor 
came in neck and neck, each little rider doing his best to win. The most 
frantic cheering of the whole celebration occurred when little Topsy 
passed under the wire a neck ahead. Gold Dust was ridden by Cleo 
Castleman ; Silver Bell by Mary Castleman, and Dandy by Marshall 

On November i8th, F. A. Franzwa made an assignment for the benefit 
of his creditors. All were paid in full, the liabilities being about $14,000 
and the assets $17,000, besides his two store buildings, at Lane and Al- 

About the first of December, Mrs. W. G. Milliken purchased Mrs. 
A'an Houten's millinery stock and business. 

In January, two petitions asking for free rural mail routes from Wes- 
sington Springs were circulated one for a route running north, circulated 
by J. H. McVey and the other circulated by Henry L. England, of Har- 
mony township for a route running west. 

At noon on Janitary 22nd, the alarm of fire was given in Wessington 
Springs, for the old Seminary was burning. The chemical engine proved 
worthless in that emergency, because of the location of the fire, which 
had started in the coal bin of the laundry. The building fell in about an 
hour after the fire was discovered. In February enough money had been 
subscribed to build another, and far better, seminary and the architect's 
plans accepted. At the same time the same architect submitted plans for 
the new public school building which was also accepted. The contracts 
for both buildings were let to the same man and work commenced June 
1 2th. While the new building was being arranged for and built, the 
Avork of the seminary was carried on at the court house. In July the 
building that had been used for the public school was sold to the seminary 
and moved to the campus for use as a dormitory. Both the new buildings 
— the .seminary and the public school — were completed ready for use in 

The city voted in January to issue bonds in the sum of $23,500 to 
build a svstem of waterworks by utilizing the big spring. On Marcli 15th. 


K Er)icst J'csscw 

Prof, and AJrs. J. K. F re eland. 


W. R. Hubbard. 

Chas. IV. Miller. 

Milo Putiicv. 

Burning of the Seminary. 

The Ne-a' Seminary 


a contract was made with the Western Engineering Co., W. L. Bruce, 
engineer, to complete the work, as it now exists. A deed to the big 
spring and the land needed was obtained from the old townsite company 
for $3000. 

One of the most important of the many great things done for Wes- 
sington Springs in the year 1908, was the opening of the Oliver Hotel, 
J. L. Coram, proprietor, which occurred on February 28th. 

The hook and ladder trucks arrived in February the necessity for it 
having been demonstrated by the burning of the seminary. 

In March arrangements were made with the government weather 
bureau office at Huron by which the predictions were each day phoned 
to the central office at Wessington Springs and by it sent over its vari- 
ous lines. 

On March 3rd, President Roosevelt nominated to the U. S. Senate. 
Fred A. Dunham to be postmaster at Wessington Springs. This appoint- 
ment was confirmed on May 22nd and he became postmaster on July ist 
in place of W. F. Bancroft, who had resigned. About the same time he 
purchased Mr. Bancroft's interest in the Jacobs-Bancroft building and 
moved his paper, the Jerauld county Review, to the rear of the room oc- 
cupied by the post office. 

Henry Pfaff re-opened his bakery in April in the building west of 
Dr. Cooper's office. 

In the same month a Rebekah lodge with 44 members was established 
at Wessington Springs with Mrs. Louise Gregory, N. G. 

About the same time the W. W. Johnson Lumber Co. sold its }'ards 
in Jerauld county to the Hayes-Lucas Lumber Co. 

It was in April also that Miss Goldie Atkins opened the Cozy Cafe 
in the old Herald building on the north side of Main street. She sold the 
business to Earl Hawthorne in October. 

On May 5th M. Lawson, of Parker, S. D., rented Bjorlo's studio and 
located in Wessington Springs. 

The Wessington Springs Seminary on June 3rd granted diplomas to 
its graduating class — A-Iary L. Thompson, Leonard Y. Hitchman. Jennie 
L. Dolliver, Gottfrid Bern and Mable F. Remster. 

About the first of September, James Greenlee, from Coon Rapids, Iowa, 
bought an interest in Hermsen's barber shop, located in the old building 
where Ford and Rich had their "law and land office" twenty-five years 

In the same month, L. S. DuBois sold The True Republican to H. A. 

Dr. Keene located in Wessington Springs to practice medicine, also 
in September. 

Jerauld County Court House. 

Wessington Springs 1899. 


In October the firm of Dill & Reese purchased the Herman Brod- 
korb grocery stock and building and began to do a general bakery busi- 
ness. Mr. Brodkorb retained his meat market business until the latter 
part of December when he sold it to Messrs. Hutchinson & Sleeper, of 
Lincoln, Nebraska. 

On the 1 6th and 17th, of October, the Catholic ladies of Wessington 
Springs and vicinity held a church fair which produced a net income of 
over $500. 

During many years the contests in temperance oratory had been con- 
tinued. Of the young people of Jerauld county who had won prizes in 
local and district contests Philip and Florence Moulton, Airs. W. F. 
Bancroft and Laura Easton, all of Wessington Springs, had each .won 
diamond medals. 

In the same month occurred the first game of foot ball ever played in 
Wessington Springs. The players were the Woonsocket high school 
eleven and the Seminary. The result was a victory for Woonsocket 15 
to 2, but in December another game was played in which Woonsocket 
was defeated 11 to o. 

In October Mrs. Esmay purchased the millinery business of Mrs. N. 
B. England. 

About the middle of November the Wessington Springs Hardware 
and Implement Company, a corporation was formed. It took in the stock 
of both hardware stores and the stock of T. L. White was moved across 
the street to the Zink & Farrington building. The president of this com- 
pany was Joseph O'Brien and the directors were P. H. Shultz. N. 15. 
England, Wm. Zink, J. H. Farrington and T. L. White. 

The new brick school house at Wessington Springs w^as dedicated 
November 20th. 

In December Mr. Bruce Bruntlett, of Kimball, built the Wessington 
Springs mill and about the same time A. M. Rasmussen opened a shoe 
store in the room vacated by the White hardware store. 

In the month of December S. T. Leeds, who had set some traps b> 
the lakes in Media township was greatly surprised to find two jack snipes 
caught in the traps he had set for mink. 

Among the matters of county importance was the Free Methodist 
Sunday school convention held in February. 

April 9th the county commissioners changed the places for selling 
property at chattel mortgage sales to H. A. Butler's livery barn in Wes- 
sington Springs, Thompson's livery barn in Alpena and Cunningham &- 
Clodt's livery barn in Lane. 

Early in the year a petition was circulated, to which the required 
number of signatures were obtained, asking for an increase of the num- 


Scco)id JJ^cssiiii^foii Sf^rin_s^s School House. 

First Wessington Springs School House. 


ber of commissioners from three to five. On the 22nd of April the board 
called in the county auditor and the county judge and divided the county 
into five districts, as follows : 

1st Dist.— Franklin and Blaine townships. 
2nd Dist. — Alpena, Dale and Chery townships. 
3rd Dist. — The city of Wessington Springs. 
4th Dist. — Anina, Viola and Wessington Springs townships. 
5th Dist. — The balance of the county not included in the other four 

For the extra commissioners they appointed W. H. McMillan of 
Alpena for the 2nd district and Herman C. Lyle of Anina township for 
the 4th district. Mr. McMillan afterwards declined the position and 
Ray Barber, also of Alpena, was given the office. 

The county teachers' institute began August 17th and continued two 
weeks with Prof. Ramer of Mitchell as conductor. 

The legislature of 1907 had enacted a primary election law and the 
old time caucus, unregulated by law, was gone forever. For the first 
time in the history of the state, all the people had a direct voice in the 
nomination of candidates. The primary, or nominating, election had 
been held in June by the Republicans and the following ticket put in 
the field : 

Senator — A. Williamson of Sanborn county. 

Representative — W. H. McMillan. 

Treasurer — L. F. Russell. 

Auditor — H. O. Refrem. 

Clerk of Courts — Jas. T. Ferguson. 

Register of Deeds- — Chas. H. Hyde. 

Attorney — J. G. Bradford. 

Sherifif— C. W. Miller. 

County Supt. — John F. Wicks. 

Judge — C. C. Gleim. 

County Com., ist Dist. — Geo. E. Whitney. 

County Com., 2nd Dist. — Ray Barber. 

County Com., 3rd Dist. — H. C. Lyle. 

On the state ticket R. S. Vessey was nominated for governor. 

The Democratic party took no part in the primary election, but 
nominated the following ticket by petition: 

Senator — Noah Keller, of Sanborn county. 
Representative — T. L. White. 
Treasurer — G. W. Backus. 


Reservoir at the Big Spring 

The Beginning of the Wessington Sp7'ings Seminary. 


Auditor — W. F. Yegge. 

Register of Deeds — S. E. Pflaum. 

County Supt. — Dora M. Shull. 

Sheriff — Nels Petersen. 

Clerk of Courts — Geo. W. Titus. 

County Com., ist Dist. — Jos. Steichen. 

County Com., 2nd Dist. — T. M. Thompson. 

County Com., 3rd Dist. — P. Christensen. 

At the election in November 1129 votes were polled and all the Re- 
publican candidates were elected except the candidates for Co. Supt. and 
Representative. Mr. Vessey was elected governor of the state. 

On December 4th, just prior to his removal to Pierre the governor- 
elect was given a splendid reception in the new high school building b}' 
the people of the county. 

In compiling this history of the county, I have not been able to give 
a complete account of the artesian wells that have been put down in the 
county, because some of the well drillers have kept no record of their 
work. Mr. W. P. Shultz, of Viola township has furnished me with a 
complete list of the wells drilled by him prior to January ist. 1909. It 
is as follows : 

George Clodt, Sec. 17, Viola, 1894, 800 feet deep. 
P. H. Shultz, Sec. 9, Viola, 1894, 880 feet deep. 
Chas. Walters, Sec. 15, Viola, 1895, 830 feet deep. 
Mr. Campbell, .Sec. 6, Blaine, 1896, 725 feet deep. 
Carl Beug, Sec. 25, Viola, 1898, 760 feet deep. 
Earnest Schmidt, Sec. 14, Dale, 1899, 817 feet deep. 
Wm. Klein, Sec. 25, Chery, 1900, 920 feet deep. 

Up to this time Mr. Shultz had worked with a machine driven by 
horse power. Afterward the work was done with an engine. 

J. E. Shull, Sec. 2, Marlar, 1900, 1725 feet deep. (No water). 

K. S. Starkey, Sec. 26. Wessington Springs, 1903, 800 feet deep. 

P. H. Shultz, Sec. 29, Viola, 1903, 810 feet deep. 

Frank Villbrandt, Sec. 20, Viola, 1903, 890 feet deep. 

Wm. Daleske, Sec. 14, Dale. 1903, 816 feet deep. 

Earnest Villbrandt, Sec. 2, Viola, 1903, 725 feet deep. 

Ole Solburg, Sec. i, Viola, 1904. 735 feet deep. 

Jos. Steichen, Sec. 27, Blaine, 1904, 725 feet deep. 

K. S. Starkey, in Wessington Springs City, 1904, 1030 feet deep. 

W. T. McConncll, Sec. 12, Chery, 1904, 800 feet deep. 

Larry A. Pinard, Sec. i, Chery, 1904. 88 feet deep. 


Jas. R. Daltou. 

J. B. Collins. 

'fr^ ■ 1 



^' ^ ">T^ ^^^H 



Thco. Dean. 

IV. P. Shulz. 


Louis Hillbrandt, Sec. 3, Viola, 1904, 840 feet deep. 

O. W. Morehead, Sec. 10, Viola, 1904, 860 feet deep. 

W. P. Shultz, Sec. 27, Viola, 1904, 830 feet deep. 

J. N. Smith, Sec. 17, Viola, 1904, 840 feet deep. 

David Burnison, Sec. 4, Franklin, 1904, 740 feet deep. 

Henry Kneiriem, Sec. 8, Franklin, 1905, 750 feet deep. 

Paul Kleppin, Sec. 32, Wessington Springs, 1905, repair, 1098 ft. deep. 

H. F. Shultz, Sec. 9, Viola, 1905, 890 feet deep. 

Geo. Clodt, Sec. 17, Mola, 1905, 940 feet deep. 

Aug. Scheel estate. Sec. 31, Alpena, 1906, 715 feet deep. 

Adebar Bros., Sec 25, Dale, 1906, 800 feet deep. 

Justin Schmidt, Sec. 25, Wessington Springs, 1906, 725 feet deep. 

yir. Friest, Sec. 5, Blaine, 1906, 780 feet deep. 

L. D. R. Kruse, Sec. 14, Viola, 1907, 730 feet deep. 

O. F. Kieser, Sec. 35, Mola, 1907, 780 feet deep. 

Max Wetzel, Sec. 26, Viola, 1907. 776 feet deep. 

O. W. Morehead, Sec. 28, Wess. Sprs. Twp., 1907, 930 feet deep. 

B. F. Wood, Sec. 28, Wess. Sprs. Twp., 1907, 780 feet deep. 

S. T. Smith, Sec. 18, Viola, 1907, 930 feet deep. 

Chapter 21. 


Because of the great number of prairie fires that have devastated 
Jerauld county during the past twenty-five years I have seen fit to put 
the record of those events in a chapter set apart to that purpose. 

The following account of a fire that occurred March 26th, 1885, is 
taken from an old copy of the Waterbury News then edited by C. V. 

"The most destructive fire that has swept the beautiful prairies about 
Waterbury, occurred on Thursday of this week. About noon a black 
cloud of smoke was observed off to the northwest, being swept south by 
a perfect gale of wind. Little by little the wind veered around more into 
the west and soon the flames could be seen darting up all over the neigh- 
boring hills. Nearly every man and boy in Waterbury then armed them- 
selves with wet blankets and other weapons to fight the flames and struck 
out into the country to help some of the neighbors who were unprotected. 
The fire in the mean time was going at the rate of twenty miles an hour 


down Crow Creek Valley, licking up hay stacks and stables in its path 
as if they had been so much tinder. 

When the fire reached Clay Platner's old place (the NE of Sec. 19), 
Stillman Moulton and brother, who had gone a little beyond, to try to 
save a haystack belonging to them, were caught in the flames and their 
faces, hands and feet were fearfully burned — so badly that the skin on 
Still's face and hands had fallen off in places, before he reached town. 
The boys suffered terribly, but Dr. IMiller, their physician, thinks they 
will pull through all O. K. if they are careful of themselves. 

At Joseph Ponsford's place the fire destroyed his hay stable and grain, 
but he managed to save his stock, though he was slightly burned in doing 
so. On the wild fire sped across the Crow Creek Valley and up to R. A. 
Wheeler's stock farm, and here the worst damage to stock was done. The 
stock yards had been protected last fall by a slight firebreak, but owing 
to the dryness of the grass and the high wind, this break w-as altogether 
insufficient, although the grass was small and stubby on the knoll where 
the yards were built. This fact was realized by the men about the place 
as soon as the fire was seen coming and they immediately went to en- 
larging the firebreak, but they had commenced too late, and before they 
had accomplished anything, scarcely, the fire was upon them. It jumped 
the break as easily as if there had been none in the way, and caught in 
the yards and stables where 45 head of fine young cattle were penned 
up. The poor creatures ran bellowing into the stable where in a perfect 
pandemonium of bellows, which their suffering elicited, they were burned 

The wagons, plows and other farming machinery belonging to the 
farm were either all, or in part, burned up. This is a most disastrous 
blow on the most estimable, but unlucky, Wheeler. Last winter his home 
with its contents was devoured by the flames, and now a greater calamity 
has befallen him. Not only is his stock and machinery gone, but his wife 
in her heroic endeavor to save their little property, was dreadfully burned. 
This terrible fortune can not always follow and Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler 
should not be entirely discouraged, as people of their industry will soon 
recover, even from their great loss. 

The town of Waterbury was at one time during the day in great 
danger, but by the united and energetic effort of the citizens it was soon 
secure from any danger of the fire." 

A few days later, April ist, during a heavy southwest wind a fire 
started near Crow Lake and burned among the hills to a point near Turtle 
Peak northwest of Wessington Springs. The wind then turned to the 
west and the fire was blown down into the valley until it reached the line 
between Chery and Dale townships. The wind then shifted into the north 


and drove the long line of flames straight at the town. There was quick 
work at the county seat that afternoon to save the town from destruction. 
A firebreak was made by backfiring along a wagon tract from the resi- 
dence of Hiram Blowers to Dr. Mathias' drug store, which checked the 
head fire and the side fires were soon extinguished. 

In March of the previous year a fire in Dale township had burned a 
barn and two cows owned by Chas. Eastman and a barn each for Ed. 
Harmston and O. W. Richardson. 

In Viola township, on Sept. 4th, 1884, Ered Kieser's barn and about 
40 tons of hay were burned, and on the 7th Mr. Palowski's wheat stacks 
were burned. ( )n the 24th of the same month a prairie fire swept over 
the northwest part of Viola township destroying about 100 hundred tons 
of hay for Dr. Nesmith. On September 20th of the year following fire 
again visited Ered Kieser, this time set by a steam thresher, and burned 
about 75 bushels of flax, a large amount of hay and his cattle and sheej) 

In Al^Dena township a prairie fire in November, 1883, burned over 
sections 9 and 10 in Alpena township, destroying some hay. a. stable and 
a cow belonging to the Campbell boys. 

In the fall of 1884 a shanty on E. T. Bowen's claim in Anina town- 
ship was burned together with about 50 tons of hay ow-ned by A. D. 
Cady and a stack belonging to E. B. Orr. 

On April 24th, 1888, a fire, driven by a strong south wind. swe])t 
across Chery township from the north part of Media and burned large 
quantities of hay for E. M. Brown, M. S. Thornton, M. E. Small. K. 
Blanchard, L. E. Russell and Roth Bros. On the same day a prairie 
fire in Eranklin township destroyed a stable owned by Mr. Goll. 

In Crow township, in 1886, J. A. Paddock's house was burned in a 
prairie fire and the next year his stables and granary were destroyed with 
all his seed corn and 500 bushels of oats. 

There have been innumerable prairie fires of which no record has 
been kept, and of which no one has more than a vague remembrance, in 
M'hich no damage was done, except to destroy the grass and take from 
the ground the natural covering that conserved moisture. But the year 
1889. probably witnessed more destruction by fire, not only in the state 
at large, but more particularly in Jerauld county, than in any other year 
in its history. 

The fires began raging in March. On the 22nd of that month a fire 
came from Hand county and burned over a portion of the north part 
of Marlar township. Two days later the residence of Sidney McElwain, 
in Pleasant township, was destroyed. The next day. March 25th, another 
fire from Hand county swept through, west of the central part of Har- 


mony township and also of Pleasant to the north line of Crow Lake 

On the 28th of March a fire started on Section 10 in Harmony town- 
ship and burned southeast destroying all but the houses for N. J- Dun- 
ham, I. N. Rich, A. G. Snyder and H. L. England. 

The 2nd day of April, 1889, will never be forgotten by any one who 
was in any part of South Dakota on that day. Early in the morning a 
strong wind, accompanied by electric currents, began blowing and soon 
increased to a furious gale, having a speed of over 80 miles per hour. 
There had been but little rain during the previous autumn, light snow in 
the winter and the spring rains had not yet come. Everything was dry. 

In Hand county, near Ree Heights, on the NE quarter of section 17 
— 112 — 72 lived a man named Ingram. On the morning of April 2nd, 
1889, while standing near his stable he lit his pipe and threw the match 
down on a pile of dry manure., Mr. Louis Kreidler, now of Hyde P. O., 
this county, saw the fire leap up from the spot where the match was 
thrown and start on its career of destruction. Directly in its course lay 
all of the western half of Jerauld county. With a head fire miles in 
length it reached Marlar township about noon. It struck the township 
at the extreme northwest corner where Nathan Mighell lived on the NW 
quarter of section 6. All his buildings were destroyed in a few moments. 
On the NE quarter of the same section Kane Marlar's buildings were all 
burned, and the same fate befell the residence of Arthur Hudson on sec- 
tion 5, B. F. Marlar on section 4 and Frank Bemis on the SW quarter of 
section 3. So suddenly did the fire come and so great was its extent 
that the people had no opportunity to help each other. As the flames 
swept southward the destruction was terrible. The general course was a 
little east of south touching the east side of the claims of Wm. Grace and 
Zachariah and John Groub. A few sections in the southwest corner of 
Marlar township was all the unburned prairie left for pasture in that 
part of the county. To, the eastward of the Grace farm J. M. Corbin lost 
his stables and live stock. His house was saved by Mrs. Corbin, who 
carriet dry dirt and threw it upon each spark as it caugt upon the roof and 
sides of the bilding. Henry Daniels lost his buildings and hay. Wm. 
and Frank Scofield lost 20 head of cattle and the large barn on Wm. 
Scofield's claim . Mark Scofield. who lived on section 26, lost everything. 
On section 11 John Ruan lost his barn, while Tillman Hunt, on section 31, 
lost all his buildings. On the same section Mrs. Rosa Knight lost her 
stable. Fearing that the house would also be destroyed she carried her 
furniture out on to the garden spot, but as luck would have it, some 
sparks caught in the furniture and it was burned, while the house was 
saved. On section 29 Wm. McLain lost all but his house and on the next 


section 28, John Buchanan lost everything. The claim of Morris Curtis, 
the SW quarter of ^^, was swept clear of all buildings, while Mr. Land- 
caster on SW quarter of 32 lost all his stables and hay. Mr. Hillman 
lost his stables and Calvin Hain and Frank Danburg lost all they had. 

When the flames left Marlar township only five stables were standing 
within its limits and ten houses and been burned. The fire struck Crow 
township just west of the Martin ranch, where the stables, hay and grain 
v/ere lost. By this time the fury of the gale filled the air with dust, 
smoke, ashes, bits of grass and flying debris of every description, to such 
an extent that the smoke could not be distinguished, except by the smell, 
and the flames could not be seen at a distance of one hundred yards. 
Shingles, light boards and wisps of hay carried fire though the air and 
lighted a fire far ahead of the main conflagration. A board set fire to the 
grass near J. A. Paddock's farm in Crow township after having been 
carried by the wind over two miles. He lost two small stables. South of 
Paddock's in Logan township lived J. A. Riegal. He was at one of the 
neighbors in the forenoon when he became alarmed by the smell of smoke 
and hurried home. In a few moments the fire was all about the buildings. 
Mrs. Riegel assisted in fighting the fire until all seemed lost when she 
took her little child and ran to the garden spot where she knelt and pro- 
tected the infant as best she could until the fearful holocaust was past. 
The house was saved and the animals, that had gathered on a plowed 
field, were also saved. The out buildings were all burned. 

All that part of Pleasant township lying west of the strip burned on 
March 25th, was swept by the flames. In this part of the township lived 
Frank Smith, E. J. Holdridge, B. R. Shimp, W. A. Dean? J. W. 
Barnum and others. The fire made a clean sweep and left nothing except 
the claim shanty of Miss Kate Salter. The fire traversed nearly all of 
the center and west half of Crow Lake township, reaching the lake at the 
Dusek farm, about 1 130 P. M. At the Sailer farm Ed. and Bymo were 
badly burned while trying to save their property from the flames. John 
Vanous, on section 9 lost his barn and team. The flames passed around 
the lake and spread out over a large part of Aurora county. 

But the fire did so much damage in Marlar, Crow, Pleasant and 
Crow Lake townships was not the only one to rage in Jerauld county that 
day. There were so many, in fact, that it has been impossible to trace 
the origin of them all. Some were started from burning straw stacks, 
some by people trying to burn around their stacks or buildings to 
protect them from an approaching fire. The latter was the case with Mr. 
Pryne, of Pleasant township, who tried to burn about his hay stacks to 
save them from a fire he feared was coming. The neighbors extinguished 


the approaching flames, but the conflagration he started escaped from his 
control and destroyed all of his stacks. 

The numerous fires that occurred in March served as a warning to 
the people of Chery township, and Messrs. Hill, Horsley, Shaefer, Lewis, 
McCullough and others, burned a firebreak along the foot of the hills in 
that township. This enabled them to fight the blaze ofif from their valley 
farms, but it swept southward among the hills. In Media township 
George Dean lost all but his team and threshing machine not even being 
able to save his clothing or furniture. 

Jas. T. Ferguson, in Anina township, having his own place reasonably 
well portected, brought his team from the stable to take a barrel of water 
to the assistance of some of his neighbors. While hitching the horses to 
the stoneboat the wind picked it up and hurled it with terrific force 
against Ferguson, cracking his skull, breaking his chest bone and one 
rib. Frank Voge lost everything but his house ; John Shultz lost a valu- 
able patch of small fruit ; George Kalb lost his machinery and stables ; E. 
J. Gates saved everything but his hay, but came near losing his life ; 
Geo. Winegarden lost his barn, stock, hay, grain and machinery; E. H. 
Ford lost his claim shanty and its contents and Chas. Ferguson had his 
cattle, sheep and corral burned. 

In Viola township the Houseman school house was burned ; Chas. H. 
Stephens lost his barn and all his hay. W. W. Goodwin lost his stables 
and a number of animals, and John Phillips saved nothing but a few 

Mr. Mihawk, in Wessington Springs township, had everj^thing 


In the northeast part of Franklin township the flames destroyed all 
buildings owned by Wm. Posey except his house, and also his animals 
and poultry. 

In Alpena township the Woodruff ranch was swept clean of all 
buildings; Fred Heller saved nothing, but one team and harness; R. J. 
Eastman lost his barn, hay, grain and some stock and his father lost his 


The foregoing is but a partial account of the losses sustained in Jer- 
auld county on the 2nd day of April, 1889. The total damage in the 
county was estimated, at the time, at $100,000. 

As in all great calamities, many remarkable things occulred, but only 
a few can be mentioned here. In Marlar township, the families of Till- 
man Hunt and some of his neighbors, being driven from their homes 
took refuge on a plowed field between two ridges of high hills. The 
flames jumped across the valley and then drawn together came rushing 
toward the narrow field from both sides. For a moment the heat was 


intense and the people on the field suffered greatly, but escaped with only 
a few blisters. 

During the years that followed many fires were started by people who 
without proper care attempted to burn fire breaks about their buildings, 
or stacks, and allowed it to escape. On May 8th, 1893, a fire started in 
that way in the north part of Anina township, burned south to Horse 
Shoe Lake destroying some buildings and a large amount of hay. 

On the 23rd of April, 1892, Frank Weeks, in Harmony township, 
lost all his farming tools and some of his buildings by a fire that came 
from the south, W. C. Grieve lost ten acres of trees that were burned by 
the same fire. 

All the grain and all buildings except his house were burned by a 
Xjrairie fire, for Peter Klink in Viola township in Sept. 1891, and on the 
same day Mr. Kasulka lost a bin, containing several hundred bushels 
of grain, by the same fire. 

On Aug. 13th, 1895, during a spell of dry weather, lightning set fire 
to the prairie grass and much of the west part of Anina township was 
swept by the flames. 

More than the usual number of fires occurred in the year 1898, about 
the first of which was started a few miles south of Wessington Springs on 
the 20th of March, and burned over a great extent of pasture land. 

Another fire came into Jerauld county on April 4th, 1898, at the 
northwest corner of Chery township, and burned to near Templeton be- 
fore it was extinguished. A few days later a fire escaped from a burning 
stubble field and burned over several sections in Media township. But 
little damage was done by either of these fires except to the prairie grass 

On April 3rd, 1898, a fire started from the old P. B. Davis farm in 
Chery township and was driven by a strong northwest wind until it had 
destroyed a large quantity of hay belonging to Joseph and John Brown. 
On Sept. I St of the same year a fire started north-east of Templeton and 
burned southeast destroying hay for a number of settlers. F. M. Brown 
and W. H. Coggshall lost most heavily. 

The year 1899 was another season of heavy fire losses. About April 
loth two fires were started near Alpena by sparks being blown from 
burning straw stacks to adjacent prairie grass. In one instance the stack 
had been burning over two weeks. A great quantity of hay was de- 

A fire started from a burning straw stack in the eastern part of Har- 
mony on April 17th, burned with a hard west wind to the railroad track 


north of Alpena, destroying a large amount of property on the way. One 
of the Chery township school houses was destroyed by this fire. z\aron 
McCloud, whose residence was directly in the course of the flames at- 
tempted to save his buildings, but the back fire he started jumped past 
him and destroyed everything he owned but his land. The fire he was 
trying to guard against burned on both sides of the spot where his build- 
ings had stood. On the same day a fire in Franklin township again 
burned the property on the Wm. Posey farm. 

April 28th, 1899. Another day long to be remembered by the people 
of Logan, Crow, Pleasant and Crow Lake townships. About the middle 
of the forenoon a dense cloud of smoke appeared in the south along the 
road toward Kimball. Some one, too indolent to have a due regard for 
the welfare of his neighbors, had applied a match to a field of dried 
weeds he had permitted to grow during the previous season. A strong 
south wind increased as the fire advanced. There was not a moment's 
pause at Smith Creek south of the old town of Waterbury. Here was 
located one of the best bridges in the county. The structure would have 
been destroyed but for the heroic efforts of little Katie Main, who kept 
the fire away. The county board rewarded her with a ten dollar warrant 
and a vote of thanks. The wind carried the blazing grass across the 
creek and straight toward the almost deserted village on section 21. 
There was no one in the town but W. E. Waterbury and the mail carrier 
from Wessington Springs. Waterbury met the fire in the valley south 
of the tO'wnsite and succeeded in keeping it on the west side of the road 
until it was well past the village. Then the unexpected happened. The 
wind which had been blowing a gale suddenly shifted into the northwest 
and doubled its volocity. The blazing grass and refuse of the prairie 
were hurled across the road and again the fire was racing straight at the 
deserted buildings, landmarks of a once thriving market place. Soon 
but two structures were left to tell where the street of the village had 

Being thus doubled back upon itself the fire soon burned itself out 
in Crow township except a backfire which was soon subdued. 

When the wind changed a black strip, about three miles wide, ex- 
tended from the south line of Logan township to near the center of Crow. 
On each side of the blackened prairie side fires were burning and eating 
into the dry, standing grass. Now the line of fire on the west became a 
backfire working slowly against the wind. But all that long line on the 
east became a head fire. At this time there were less than a thousand 
acres of cultivated land in either of the townships crossed by the fire. 


Neither in Logan or Crow township was there as much as a section of 
plowed land, all told. So there was but small chance of stopping the line 
of head fire, now many miles in length that was rapidly charging east- 
ward. At the residence of Henry P. Will, the bulk of the property was 
saved, but Mrs. Will was caught in the fiames and seriously injured. 

On its way north the fire had destroyed the Fordham and Long resi- 
dence, in Logan township, and after the wind changed the houses of 
Meyers, Pflamn and others in the same township were destroyed. The 
old Combs and Harris shanty in which Peter J. Rhobe was killed by 
Ben. Solomon several years before, had been moved to the residence of 
A. E. Hanebuth in Logan township, and, it also, was burned. 

In Pleasant township a great deal of property was destroyed. In 
Crow Lake township Geo. Deindorfer, who lived on section lo lost all 
his buildings, while on the old Menzer ranch, west of Crow Lake a man 
named Russell saw his corral, sheds and iioo head of sheep destroyed 
by the fire. 

In the autumn of the same year the residence of Earnest Schmidt in 
Dale township was destroyed by fire. Two years later, on April 20th, a 
fire started from a straw stack, that for several days had been burning 
on the NE quarter of section 22 in Harmony township, was driven north 
into Hand county. In this fire a man named Hanks, living just over the 
line, in Hand county, was surrounded by the blazing prairie and burned 
to death. On the same day a fire started from near the center of Dale 
township and burned north about twenty miles into Beadle county. 

In 1903 a fire started in the northwest part of Crow Lake township 
and burned south and east until stopped by the township fireguards that 
had been made through the center of the township. 

In Dale township on Sept. 9, 1904, a fire destroyed a large quantity 
of hay belonging to L. F. and A. Russell and a lot of fencing on the old 
Vanderveen farm. On the 27th of the same month lightning started a fire 
in the same township that destroyed many stacks of hay on the Firesteel 

On November 3rd, 1906, some section men, who were burning of^^ 
the right of way to prevent fires being started by passing engines, allowed 
the flames to get away from them. About 80 tons of hay were destroyed 
of which fifty belonged to Paul Kleppin. 

In November, 1907, a prairie fire in the southern part of Logan town- 
ship burned ten stacks of hay owned by H. P. Will. 

Last spring, (1908), sparks from a stack that had been burning two 
weeks, in the northwestern part of Blaine township, were blown into the 
adjoining prairie grass and started a fire that did immense damage in 
the southern part of the township and in Sanborn and Aurora counties. 



When the -author started out to gather the material for this history 
he began to learn to ride a bicycle. This search for incidents and anec- 
dotes brought up many recollections which were set down in a series of 
articles entitled "Among Review Readers," which were published from 
week to week in the Jerauld County Review. This chapter is composed 
of extracts from those articles, which were historical in character. 

I left Wessington Springs Monday afternoon April 12th, 1908, and 
led my wheel to the top of the grade west of town, and then, for want 
of a track smooth and wide, I led it on down into Hay Valley. There I 
got a chance to "spin," which I did — till I was dizzy — the wheel seem- 
ingly being made to roll toward town. I took the wire caps off the pedals 
and then got on very well — leading the "bike" along the pike. 

A heavy smoke to the southwest attracted my attention and I kept 
on in that direction until I reached the corner of the old McGinnis place 
and then the smoke having subsided, I turned north to the residence 
formerly occupied by Jos. Rumelhart, and got a drink of splendid water. 
It is now owned by Mr. Carl Rott, who moved onto it the first of March 
from Audubon county, Iowa. From there I went west to where young 
Mr. Barnes was busy at work putting in wheat on a farm his father had 
rented from Amos Gotwals. 

I continued the wrestle with the wheel and worked on west till I 
reached the beautiful home of Jas. Rundle. Here I took another drink 
of the cool, pure water that one finds everywhere in this county. This 
quarter section was taken by M. D. Crow as a homestead in the spring 
of 1883. The remains of his sod house now constitutes a black mound in 
a cultivated field at the northeast corner of the farm. Ray Holtry was 
earning his wages from Mr. Rundle in a desperate effort to make a walk- 
ing plow scour. 

I leaned my wheel against the fence and took a walk into the field 
south of the Rundle farm to the spot where Chas. Kugler built his shanty 
in the spring of 1884. He lived on that place as his homestead till the 
1 2th of January. 1888. The next day he and his yoke of oxen were found 


frozen to death near the residence of James T. Ferguson in Anina town- 
ship. He was lost in the great storm. 

From the site of the Kugler shanty I could see the old house with the 
stone basement, where Gil Albert assumed the judicial ermine and with 
magisterial dignity conducted the examination in the then interesting case 
of the Territory of Dakota vs. Herb Gailey. I appeared as attorney for 
the prosecution, and C. \'. Martin and E. C. Nordyke for the defense. 
Geo. N. Price was constable. For two days and one night the combat 
raged. This was in April, 1889. This case closed at about 8 o'clock in 
the evening of the second day in the midst of a violent snow storm. The 
case being closed and the defendant being held to court, the attorneys, 
witnesses and prisoner piled into 'Mr. Price's two-seated buggy and 
started for the Springs. On the way we met C. W. McDonald and E. 
L. Smith, wading though the snow going to court in obedience to a sub- 
poena issued by Justice Albert in the morning. 

Breaking away from these reflections I came back into the road. 
seized the refractory wheel and set off north, past the old J. N. Cross 
place with its reminders of early days. A peep into the now open cellar 
of the old grout house for which hopes of county seat honors were once 
entertained, and a pleasant thought of the days when Will Ingham and 
J. E. McNamara ran the Jerauld County News in an office room on the 
.second floor, while the aged friend of Whittier and Longfellow, Rev. 
John Cross, whiled away his time in his library below. I picked up the 
wheel and wrestled on north till I met Mr. Leander Bennett on the 
quarter-section taken by E. L. DeLine as a homestead in 1883. Mr. 
Bennett has the place rented for this year, but will go to Wyoming as 
soon as seeding is done to visit his son and look for a farm on Uncle 
vSam's domain. 

At D. O. Eddy's home I stopped for the night, finding that the wheel, 
as well as myself, was somewhat wobbly. Dick has one of the best farms 
on the westside. good building, plenty of horses, cattle, and hogs, a 
half-section of land and his seeding well along. He and his excellent 
wife have demonstrated what a young couple can do by grit and industry 
on South Dakota soil. The next morning I went on as far as Templeton. 

A fierce north wind put out of the question, the plan of going in that 
direction any further Tuesday evening, so I jumped on the wheel (two 
or three times), and went to the home of Mr. M. E. Fee, where I had a. 
really pleasant time in comparing twenty years ago in Dakota with the 
same time in Nebraska. Both Mr. and Mrs. Fee had interesting exper- 
iences in the great blizzard of Jan. 12th, 1888, which reached their homes 
in Antelope county about one o'clock in the afternoon. Mr. Fee was at 
Necly. Neb., assisting a neighbor to make final proof on a homestead and 



was held by the storm until the 13th. Mrs. Fee, then a school girl, was 
attending a school taught by Miss Fee, now Mrs. Ray of this township, 
about a half mile from Elgin, Neb. She made her way home, about a 
mile, through the storm, but will never forget the experience. 

Wednesday noon I jumped on the wheel again and walked to the old 
Jimmy Hoar place where he settled in the spring of 1883. He had moved 
there from Earlville, 111., and built the house that now stands on the 
farm. Here his wife died, his daughter was married, and his son died. 
Uncle Jimmy then went to California to live with his daughther, Mrs. 
G. S. Eddy, where he still makes his home. 

I then wrestled with the wheel to the old J. M. Hanson place, at the 
head of Long Lake. This is where Mr. Hanson settled as a homesteader 
in 1883, abandoning his occupation as a sailor on the Great Lakes to be- 
come a Dakota farmer. He lived here until he died, about 1898. 

Literally working my way along with the wheel, I passed the well 
known residence of Allan G. Snyder, who could not repress a few pointed 
jokes at the combination of myself and the wheel. He enjoyed this all 
the more because of a prolonged wrestle I had with the machine just be- 
fore I arrived at his house. I rode and led the wheel, by turns, until I 
had passed around the south end of the lake and reached the home of 
H. L. England, where I received a hearty welcome and gladly accepted 
his invitation to stay the night. Mr. England's comfortable home, a view 
of which appeared in this journal a few month ago, needs no description. 
Suffice it to say that sitting in his well furnished rooms made pleasanter 
the reminiscences of the old times when things were different. 

Thursday morning I rode as far as T. D. William's bachelor residence 
on Sec. 13 and got the use of his phone to tell the "Review" office who 
were new subscribers. For twenty-five years Mr. Williams has lived on 
this land, raising grain and cattle, independent and happy, monarch of 
all he surveyed. He has the best marked herd of Herefords in the 
county, numbering 102 head, all his own raising. 

The next place I visited was L. G. McLoud's, who, working alone, 
can, year after year, put in as much crop and get as big a yield as any 
other man in the county who gets along without other help. He was 
almost done putting in 130 acres of small grain and will soon commence 
plowing for corn. For fourteen years Mr. McL. has farmed this place 
and never had a bad crop. 

A few steps further and we found Will Davis pushing the work on 
the old Louis Nordyke homestead, the SW of 17. Mr. Davis is living 
on the John Gilbert farm, the NE of 17, where that pioneer lived for 
twenty-four years the lonely life of a bachelor, but by hard work ac- 

353 ' 

cumulated a competence. In far away Oregon he now resides with his 
brother, H. T. Gilbert. 

Down in the valley to the south half of 18, I went and found Scott 
Starrett and his son-in-law, Earl Tripp, living on the quarter section that 
during the hard times of years ago was the abiding place of G. W. Titus, 
who is now a retired farmer at the county seat. Another order for the 
paper and I wrestled on against wind and wheel till I reached the cosy 
domicil of that prince of good fellows, Lyman Butterfield. Old times, 
jokes and politics, all in jolly good-nature, till eleven o'clock and then I 
went to sleep to dream of continuous wrestling, catch-as-catch-can, with 
ii bicycle. 

Friday morning, bidding adieu to Lyman and his good wife, I climbed 
to the top of the hill and then getting a "hip-lock" on that "infernal" ma- 
chine I mastered it and in the still morning air and over the smooth 
roads I had a delightful ride. In a few minutes I passed the former 
home of B. S. Butterfield where the old veteran and his aged companion 
celebrated their golden wedding a few years ago. 

At Schuberts hill, three miles west of town named from a German 
farmer, father of Oscar Schubert, who had a homestead there several 
years ago. I turned northwest and past the Dr. Mathias tree claim. Will 
Spears and Myron Pratts 80 acre homesteads, Conway Thompson's pre- 
emption, homestead and tree claim ; past Harl Stowell's old homestead, 
where John Brown now raises mighty good crops every year ; past Geo. 
Pratts quarter where he had a claim many years ago ; then by Doc Harris 
mile-long homestead filed in 1883, and so on, memory stirred by the things 
a quarter of a century old. I found INIr. P. A. Thompson, who has rented 
the O. O. England ranch, in Harmony. He was hurrying to get his 50 
acres of small grain sown before the rain came, so as to be ready to com- 
mence breaking 50 acres of sod for flax. This land was taken by O. O. 
and C. W. England when there was not another ranch between James 
River and Fort Thompson. They brought a thousand head of sheep with 
them and made shelter for their flock by stripping up the sod from the 
prairie and building sheds covered with hay. A rough claim shanty com- 
pleted the pioneering outfit. Here they continued the sheep and cattle 
industry until from the profits of the business a fine farm house and good 
sheep and cattle barns were erected on what is known as one of the best 
farms in the county. O. O. England, now a county commissioner, lives 
in Wessington Springs while uncle Charley enjoys continuous summer in 

After taking i\Ir. Thompson's subscription I rolled on north past the 
house built by John Murphy, of Amboy, 111., in the summer 1883. He 
came to this county with J. R. Eddy and located his homestead here. 


Wednesday noon I took dinner with Joe Hunt, who Hves on the old 
Fizenmeier claim in the northwest corner of Harmony township. The 
house in which the old German lived is gone, but a new and commodious 
house stands on the hill, near by. Another old building, now used as a 
granary stands near the site of the old claim shant)^, and was made by 
moving the house from the Orcutt farm over the way to 'which an addi- 
tion was built. 

In my trip about the township I was surprised to find that only two 
of the settlers who located here in 1883, are still residing in the town- 
ship — T. D. Williams and A. G. Snyder. Of the others, some have re- 
tired from farming and live at the county seat and some have left the 

After dinner^ April 22nd, I left Joe Hunt's and crossing the road 
entered Marlar township at the farm of Edward Tiede, located in section 
one. Two new barns and a granary have been added to the improvements 
since Mr. Tiede came on here in the fall of 1906. This season he will 
have 90 acres of old ground in small-grain, besides all the breaking he 
can do. Part of this farm was entered as a homestead by Al. Seizer in 
1883, and later was all included in the Shull ranch. The balance of the 
Shull ranch is now owned by Gustave Tiede, brother of Edward, and 
Wm. Tiede father of both. New buildings, new fences, new breaking, 
and excellent farming are features of their work. Gustave's new house, 
a two-story structure newly plainted outside and finished inside with hard 
oil, is certainly a beautiful home. In 1883 this was Hub Emery's home- 

South of Wm. Tiede's is the new 640-acre farm of Jacob Hasz. Every- 
thing shows the marks of industry and good farming. A fine grove pro- 
tects the farm buildings from the cold of winter and heat of siunmer. 
This grove was set out by Mr. Bemis on his tree claim in the 8o's. 

About the middle of the afternoon I reached the home of J. M. Cor- 
bin. ]Mr. Corbin has for many years been a teacher among the Indians on 
the western reservations, but has retained his residence in Marlar town- 
ship. The boys, Cass, Marion and Sidney, with their sisters, made my 
visit a very enjoyable one. My last visit to this family was in 1884, 
twenty-four years ago. At that time they were new comers, and like 
nearly all others, were experiencing the discomforts of pioneering. Then 
they lived in a "dug-out," of which only the spot now remains. On this 
visit we entered a large well furnished house and about supper time were 
joined by Mr. Verry of the AVillard hotel, and Mrs. Louis Mead, also of 
Wessington Springs. During the evening J listened to some really excel- 
lent music ; Mrs. Dickinson, the oldest sister, at the piano, her inisband 
Mr. Dickinson, last year in the Springs ball nine, playing the guitar, and 


Mr. Mead pla3-ing on the violin. All the instruments are high priced and 
the players evinced a skill hard to excell. The entertainment was closed 
by a few pieces with Marion at the piano and Mrs. Dickinson playing the 
violin. But few times in my life have I heard better music. Verily, 
twenty-five 3''ears in Dakota, though twenty-five miles from a railroad, have 
wrought wonders. 

I then started on my return to Wessington Springs, and passed the 
old home of Uncle Billy Orr, who was for many years the representative 
of that township at the republican county conventions, and for a while 
the only republican voter there. He was proud of the fact that he had 
not "scratched" a ticket in thirty years. 

After my return from Marlar township I went to Franklin. 

On the NW quarter, 17 — 107—63, Mr. T. Chandler, who came here 
from near Woodward in Boone county, Iowa, in the spring of 1906, has 
built a fine new house and barn, and has a comfortable home. This is 
part of the land patented to Will Houmes by President Harrison nearly 
twenty years ago. 

On another one of the old Houmes quarters, the SE of 8, in In-ank- 
lin township, lives Paul Kleppin and his wife, formerly Tillie Brodkorb 
of the Springs. They have a good new house and barn and their pros- 
pects are good. 

The old Zink farm in north Franklin was purchased by Mr. Hoff- 
man who came from Wisconsin, in 1897. New buildings have been built 
for all farm purposes and he now has valuable property. A half-mile 
further north L P. Ray settled a quarter of a century ago and lived on 
his land until he was offered $10 per acre and then sold and went to 
Kansas. The same land is now owned by Mr. Hoolihan and would be 
called cheap at $45. 

Good improvements of every description are on the farm of Jacob 
Mees, the NE of 5. He moved on this place April 4th. 1885, paying 
$1000 for a relinquishment. Last summer he refused an offer of $55 per 
acre. While I was chatting with him he was setting out a large straw- 
berry bed. 

Across the line and I was in Alpena township at thel old Gorman tree 
claim which is still owned by the man who "took" it from the goverr.- 
ment. At the south west corner of this quarter is Fairview cemetery. 

I have often thought that the history of a community might be very 
well written in its cemetery. I leaned the wheel against the iron gate and 
spent a half hour among these memories of the past. The spot is beauti- 
fully located and well kept. 


On variously colored head stones I read the following inscriptions of 
long ago: 

"Jennie N. Harmon, wife of Z. T. Harmon." Beside the mother, in 
a thicket of rose bushes were two little graves each marked "Our Baby." 
"James Otis Gray"' is another name of the early times. He died 
Nov. I St, 1888. He was one of the first magistrates of the county. 

Another stone brings thoughts of the fatherland across the sea. It 
reads as follows : 



July 28, 1837. 

Feb'y 24, 1907. 
Christus ist mein leben und ster ben mein gev/inn ich habe lust abzushei- 
den und bei Christ zu sein." 

The name of August Scheel calls to mind a sad accident on the 19th 
day of ]^Iay fourteen years ago. 

A plain stone, bearing the inscription, "A. L. Eager, Co. B., 3rd Wis. 
Inf.," nothing more, is rich ^\ith thoughts of other scenes and other days. 
The story of that regiment is all the encomium, desired by the simple sol- 
dier, who rests here, alone, far from the comrades who marched with him 
in the campaigns of the army of the Patomac. 

Many are here of more recent burial, but space is limited and I must 
go on. 

C)n the S half of 32 — 108 — 63, I met William Brandenburg, one of 
the earliest settlers of the county, who has a magnificent farm, and ha? 
found that Dakota, as territory and state, has been a good country in 
which to live. His son, Fred, living a short distance further north was 
the second child born in the township; the first being, J\Iiss Scheel, now 
the wife of William Ahart. 

In Alpena the changes have been so many, that I cannot mention all. 

Of those who spent the winter of 1883 in the village of Alpena, W. 
AV. Hillis, the druggist, alone remains. He has prospered in the years 
that have silvered his hair. He always has a good word for the town in 
which he lives. For 24 years the drug store has been in the same build- 
ing, and during 23 years of that time ^^^illis has been behind the cour.ter, 
either as clerk or proprietor. 

Of the rest, many are gone out of the knowledge of those who kucw 
them here. W. H. Arne, upon whose pre-emption claim the town is 
located, is living at Cottage Grove, Oregon, where his son-in-law, T^-ank 
Phillips, also resides. 







Jeff Hillis, the last of the '83 settlers to leave Alpena, now lives at 
Hillsdale, Oregon, a neighbor of Andrew IMercer, an early settler of Dale 
and who proposed the name adopted by that township, in 1884. 

Ray Barber, at different times, hotel keeper, hardware merchant and 
liveryman, is now devoting his time exclusively to real estate, and the 
care of the several farms he owns in this vicinty. 

An issue of the Jerauld County Journal, under date of February 22nd, 
1884. published by Loomis & Davis was loaned to me by Air. J. D. Cham- 
berlain. From it I quote the following items that were of interest to the 
pioneers of that day: 

'"Linn commences that livery and feed stable next week, we under- 

"Frank Wheelihan proves up on his dirt next week. No more visits 
to the claim for him." 

Among the list of final proof notices I found the names of John Dukes 
and Sgt. John McKown. whose names I saw yesterday on the headstones 
in the cemetery. Other names in the list were George Whealen, Fred 
Busse, John E. Cook and Henry C. Neumeyer. 

The issue of April 9, 1897, of the paper, the name of which had now 
been changed to "The Alpena Journal," contains the following interesting 
notes : 

"A vote of thanks is due L. N. Loomis for walking to Woonsocket 
last Friday and returning on Saturday with the mail pouches." 

"The Dakota Sieve, of this county, came out last week printed on the 
official blank ballots, the 'insides' not having arrived, on account of 

The livery business that has been run by numerous owners since the 
days in 1884 when Wallace Linn hired broncho's, broken and unbroken, 
to traveling customers, is now controlled by Thompson Bros, who own 
as fine a livery property as the state aft'ords. 

The NW of 7 — 108 — 63 and the NE of 12 — 108 — 64. is a half section 
upon which Pat McDonald, for several years sheriff of Jerauld county, 
kept a bachelor establishment in the '80s and early '90s. 

The SW of 6 was for many years the homestead and residence of J. 
H. Alay, a judge of the probate court, and for several years county and 
township justice. The farm is now the property of Fred Brandd, but 
is being cultivated by Rob't Richey, who is also tilling the NW of 7. 

I had reached the west line of the township and, leading the wheel 
through the prairie grass, along a "blind trail," I bent my steps toward 
the home of Mr. H. C. Newmeyer, a grand army veteran, where I hoped 
to get the records of W. H. L. Wallace Post. The indications of rain 
were strong but the wheel and T kept up our usual speed, when walkiTig. 


To ride the bike up and down the steep hills and gullies that cross the 
township line, and through the heavy grass, was impossible. Just as the 
big drops began to fall I arrived at the door of the hospitable Pennsyl- 
vanian, and then for several hours watched one of the heaviest rainstorms 
I ever saw. While the rain was falling I obtained from the G. A. R. 
records the extracts that I wanted, and then spent a very pleasant even- 
ing with Mr. Newmeyer and his son. 

The SW of i8 — io8 — 63 and the NE of 13 — 108 — 64, has been for 
nine years the home of Geo. Reinhart. He has 90 acres in to crop, and 
was hurrying the breaking plow to get more land on the NE of 13 under 
cultivation. On this quarter-section Jesse Beadell and his grandmother, 
Mrs. Phillips, spent the night of Jan. 12th, 1888, under an overturned 
sled. The next morning the lad started for assistance, but did not go far 
before he succumbed to the intense cold. Relatives, a little later, found 
his lifeless body, and rescued the old lady badly chilled. 

Prank Phillips lived for several years on the north half of 19 — 108 — ■ 
6^, and secured title to it from the United States. The NW quarter of 
this section is now owned by Dr. Shull, of Alpena, who also owns the 
SE of 13 in Dale township. From the Phillips quarter the buildings have 
been removed, but good ones stand on the quarter across the road where 
the Doctor has made his improvements. 

The other Phillips quarter, and the south half of the section, together 
with a fine quarter in section 24, of Dale, is now owned and occupied by 
H. A. Munson, formerly of LaFayette Co., Wis. His farm extends across 
Sand Creek, affording running water in his pasture, while a strong arte- 
sian well furnishes the same for the farm yards. 

The north half of Pat Conlon's old homestead, the SE of 18, and the 
north half of Jim Conlon's homestead, which was a mile long on the west 
side of 17 and also the homesteads of Hugh and Mike Moran, comprising 
all of the north half of 18, are now owned by Albert Krueger, who came 
bere from Buft'alo county and b}' energy and economy has built up a 
splendid home. He has in 175 acres of crop. 

On the 20th day of May I got back to Wessington Springs, having 
led the bike all the way from Lane in the face of a strong west wind. 
But I reached the "hub of the universe" at last and stopped for a moment 
in front of the First National Bank, and my weariness brought to my 
mind one day twenty-five years ago when footsore, tired and hungry I 
stopped at that same spot in front of Tarbell's hotel. Then I had walked 
from H. D. Fisher's claim in Franklin- township, in October snow and 
mud. Then the twenty feet of board floor to the hotel porch was the 
only piece of sidewalk in the town. The hotel was owned and run by L. 
H. Tarbell and T- H. Woodburn. 


East of the hotel was the building that now stands on the west side 
of T. L. White's hardware store, but then only reaching back to the win- 
dow. In that building Morse & La Pont lived and kept a hardware store. 
In the building where Mr. White now stores machinery, east of Alden 
Cutler's law office, Silas Kinny kept a general store, using the back part 
for a residence. 

Opposite Kinny 's store and a little east, stood Stevens Bros.' general 
store, a one and one-half story building, the upper story being occupied 
for living rooms. West of this stood the building now occupied by Henry 
Hermsen for a barber shop. Over its door was nailed a sign which read. 
"Ford & Rich, Law and Land Office," painted by J. H. Kugler. 

Still further west, in the room now used by S. T. Leeds for his Cozy 
Cafe, was the printing office of McDonald and Bateman in which was 
published the Wessington Springs Herald, the first Jerauld county news- 

On the ground where Ausman & Wallace now have their real estate 
office, stood the law and land office of Drake & Magee. The little build- 
ing in which the pioneer firm did business now stands in the rear of the 
present office, which was built by Mr. Drake in 1885. 

On the south side of the street, on the now vacant lot adjoining Shull's 
drug store on the east, stood the law and land office of Dunn & Hackett. 

On the lot now occupied by the west side of Shull's drug store, stood 
Bender's drug store managed by Chas. P. Taylor. 

On the lots now owned by Geo. N. Price, south of the city hall, stood 
the livery, feed and sale stable owned and operated by Bert Orr, now of 
Pleasant township. Near where the hotel Oliver now stands was a 
school house built by private subscription. 

A blacksmith shop owned and run by J. H. \\'oodburn, had l^een 
erected on the ground now occupied by F. M. Brown's livery barn. 

One more building, what is now the old Carlton House, then known 
as the Applegate building, and in which the True Republican was started 
in November, 1883, by W. S. Ingham and myself, completed what con- 
stituted the business district of Wessington Springs. 

The residences of Rob't Bateman, C. W. McDonald, R. M. Magee. 
A. B. Smart and H. Blowers were the homes of the city aside from the 
business houses. Of these oldtimers, McDonald, Smart, A\'oodburn and 
Orr alone, remain in the county. 

That was Wessington Springs the first time I saw it. The origin. 
growth and development of the town will be much more fully given in 
the history of the county. 


Of the men who were m business in Wessington Springs in October, 
1883, except as before mentioned, the following is the record as nearly as 
I can ascertain : 

L. H. Tarbell and Agustine La Pont are dead. 

J. D. Morse is at Boulder, Colo. 

C. H. Stevens is at Athens, Penn. 

H. C. Stevens is in Colorado. 

Silas Kinny moved from Jerauld county to Sioux City. 

Thos. Drake moved from here to Faulkton, then to Redfield, next to 
Pierre and last to Seattle, Wash. His partner, R. M. Magee, is at 
Chadron, Neb. 

Wm. Bateman is in the government printing office in Washington, 
D. C. 

Chas. P. Taylor is in Minneapolis. 

Jas. T. Ford is living in Los Angeles, California. 

L N. Rich is in general merchandise business at Hubbard, Iowa. 

Thos. Dunn is said to be at San Francisco and Collins E. Hackett is 
at Friday Harbor, Wash. 

Rob't Bateman is in the pension department at Washington, D. C. 

W. S. Ingham is running a newspaper in Butte county, S. D. 

Hiram Blowers died of tuberculosis somewhere in Minnesota. 

On June 27th I started north from Wessington Springs along the 
line between Dale and Chery townships. 

Out of the center of the north half of thirty-one Maj. Wallace took 
his pre-emption claim. He made a tree-claim out of the center of the 
south half of 30, leaving a strip a mile long and eighty rods wide extend- 
ing along the town line from the west quarter-corner of 31 to the cor- 
responding corner of 30. This strip was afterwards taken by a widow 
named Mrs. Baker. 

The east half of the NE 31, with the west half of the NW 32 was 
homesteaded by C. D. Brown, who was the first man to bring a family 
into Dale township. 

The east half of the SE 30 was thus left as an isolated 80, and upon 
this E. Taylor, a son of W. F. Taylor, filed a declaratory statement. 

All of section 30 is now owned by Mr. W. F. Harding, but is occupied 
by Mr. J. Barber, who came from Henry county, Illinois, and rented the 
farm the first of March, this year. Fie and his two nephews ha^-e in 300 
acres of crop that bid fair to reward them well for their labors. 

The north half of 30, a quarter of a century ago, was the home of 
Dr. E. L. Turner and his father. The doctor had the NE quarter and 
the old gentleman the northwest. E. L. Turner was an excellent physician, 
good hearted, kind and faithful. Reticent by nature, he shrank from the 


prying of the curious and, when not ministering to the wants of his 
patients, would sit for hours brooding over the wrongs that had ruined 
his family and his life. 

North of the Turner land is the SW of 19 where Will Eagle had a 
tree claim when the settlements were new. On this quarter, in 1889, 
ended an event which has never been told. A young fellow had been 
arrested on a far-fetched charge of house breaking. The case was com- 
menced before C. W. Hill, at that time a justice of the peace of Chery 
township. A change of the place of trial was taken and the case went 
before Squire Van Voorhis, of the same township. A contest over a 
technicality in the complaint resulted in a dismissal of the action. He 
Avas immediately rearrested, on the same charge, on a warrant issued by 
G. R. Bateman, a magistrate of Wessington Springs. The district attor- 
ney. A. Converse, had now taken hold of the case. Again the quibling 
over the papers resulted in the discharge of the prisoner, who was allowed 
liis liberty while the district attorney made a new complaint. A new war- 
want was issued and placed in the hands of the sheriff. The attorneys 
and justice remained in the court" room while waiting for the officer to 
bring in the defendant. The minutes dragged on into hours and supper 
time approached. J. R. Francis entered the room from his office and 
after looking about for a minute, remarked, "What are you fellows wait- 
ing for?" "We're waiting for the prisoner," replied the justice. "Well," 
said Francis, "I saw him about two hours ago, with his coat over his 
shoulder making good time toward the hills. You fellows might as well 
go home." "It's a trick," said the district attorney, "but I'll have that 
fellow 'bound up' to court if I have to follow him to Kingdom Come." 
A few minutes later the boy's father and attorney were in a lumber wagon 
driving north along the road at the foot of the hills. A short distance 
north of the Wallace gulch the boy ran down from the hills and climbed 
into the wagon. The team was then turned east for Alpena. W'hen they 
reached the SW 19 they saw a single rig approaching from the south, 
and so close that it was impossible to escape, if the rig contained any 
one interested in knowing who was in the wagon. The boy leaped out 
and, running a few yards, threw himself clown in the short grass, where 
be ke])t his head bobbing up and down to see who was coming and 
whether he was discovered. Sure enough, the buggy contained the 
sheriff, who drove up to the wagon, stopped a few moments, remarked 
about the crops, thought maybe it would rain, though it was one of the 
dry years of early days, and then drove ofif, passing within ten feet of the 
bobbing head without once looking toward it. The boy, terribly frighten- 
ed, climbed to his seat in the wagon and silently rode away into the night. 
He has never been .seen in the countv since. 





^ ..-^^B 

w^-f •* Cm 


H. A. Short. 

Dr. M. JV. Ncsmith. 

M. A. Shaii'. 

Frank ami Will Eagle. Mrs. M. A. Slum 


Across the road, west, in Chery township, on the SE of 24, now owned 
by F. Spears, Will Eagle had a pre-emption claim in 1884 — 85. He 
bought a relinquishment of Ole Nelson, a Norwegian. 

Three cottonwood trees grew for years near where the claim shant}" 

stood. One of the trees has died and fallen. The heat was intense when 


I reached this point and I thought to sit on the trunk of the dead tree, 
in the shade of the live ones, and write up the notes of the road thus far. 
The only things left on this quarter to mark the early habitation, are the 
trees, the rank grass, a few stones with which an attempt had been made 
to dam the little run, in which water sometimes flowed, and the mos- 
quitoes, of prodigious size, full grown I think, probably the same that 
drove the hardy Norseman to sell his claim. I postponed the note writing 
and moved on. 

A short distance further north I saw an argument, big as a load of 
hay, in favor of better roads. It was left there by Ed. Dwyer, who lives 
on the W. T. McConnell farm in Dale, which comprises all of section 
seven. About two miles of the best improved highway is needed on the 
township line across the Firesteel bottomi. 

The north half of 19 in Dale was taken by L. F. Russell, present 
county treasurer, and his father, Lawrence Russell, as pre-emption claims. 

The SE 19 was the homestead of Marc. Thomas, a young man well 
known to all the early settlers of the township. He now lives in Missouri. 

After passing Ed. Dwyer's load of hay, I led the wheel north over 
the partially dried road, past the SW 18 where Hale Cleveland had his 
quarter of government land, and also past the NW of the same section. 
where W. H. Robeson, from Davenport, Iowa, "held down'' a home- 
stead claim. 

At the Tracy school house, which stands on the southwest corner of 
section 8, I stopped and entered. The doors were unlocked and the room 
looked as though a town meeting had been recently held there. The 
building is in fair condition, considering its age, 24 years, but the founda- 
tion needs attention. ' Good firebreaks surround it and but little trouble 
would be experienced in protecting the house from prairie fires. 

From there I walked south, most of the time in Eagle's pasture, in 
17, because of the moist condition of the road. When almost at the next 
section line, I came to the Firesteel Creek, which had "tumbled out of 
bed," and lay spread out considerably. No bridge or turnpike, there was 
nothing to do but turn back to the school house. All of section 17 is 
owned by B. F. Eagle, who has it fenced in for pasture and it makes a 
good one, plenty of grass and watered by two artesian wells located on 
adjoining land. 


The SW of 8, was the residence of Jake Rosenthal and his wife, a 
couple who 20 years ago were well known in Jerauld, Sanborn and Beadle 

Turning east along the south line of section 8, I soon reached another 
stream, which George Washington could have jumped before he became 
president. But I am not a George Washington, and besides he couldn't 
have done it with a bicycle. Across the little stream, on the SE of 8 is 
the substantial home of John Scott. I saw- Mr. S. north of a good sized 
hog pasture plowing corn. I lifted the bike over the fence, passed over 
the creek on a stone crossing, swung the wheel over another fence and 
got from Air. Scott the story of his farm. But he informed me that the 
bridge was gone from where the creek crossed the road on the east side 
of 17, and that my surest way to get south was to go back through the 
hog pasture to the road, get over the fence into Eagle's pasture again, 
and strike the east line of 17 south of the stream. I did so but had to 
spend considerable time in repeatedly driving off the herd of cattle in the 
pasture. The wheel aroused their curiosity and they seemed determined 
TO examine it too closely. 

It was in this same pasture that Peter Wieland had trouble, in 1885, 
with a large bunch of curious cattle. Peter was driving a one horse 
wagon with a cow tied behind it. The cattle surrounded him, overturned 
the wagon, threw down and trampled on the horse and the cow, while 
Peter himself had to run to escape serious injury. 

My troubles in getting on reminded me of the difficulties of some 
other men on that road a number of years ago, in which animal curiosity 
cut cjuite a figure. But thereby hangs a. tale. See winter of 1896-7. 

On Monday morning, July 27th, I brought out the bike, inflated the 
wheels, and then finding that the wind was in the north I turned the ma- 
chine toward Viola township. 

My first stop was at the residence of Nathan Shuey who lives on the 
quarter where John Grant made his homestead entry. May 14th, 1881, 
the SE of 19, of Wessington Springs township. At the time of making 
his entry on the SE of 19, Mr. Grant also filed a tree claim entry on the 
NE quarter of the same section. Here he lived, making the place famous 
for its orchard of splendid fruit and many improvements, including a 
good well, fine grove and delightful shade. The farm now includes the 
AI. C. Ayers quarter, which stretches a quarter of a- mile in width, along 
the north line of section 30. 

Across the way, east, lies the S. W. of 20. Here John R. I'>ancis 
filed his soldiers declaratory and made proof for it as his homestead. 
Prior to making his home on this land he had lived at Sheldon, Iowa. 
W'hen his six months, allowed by law, for establishing his residence, had 


nearly expired he came to the territory again, and for a few days re- 
mained at Plankinton, waiting for a chance to ride out with some settler, 
to his claim. On the day that his six months would expire Ed. Williams, 
a friend and neighbor, drove to Plankinton and brought Francis home. 
In some way, before he arrived at his claim, upon which no buildings had 
yet been erected he learned that some strangers had planned to go to the 
Mitchell land office the next morning and institute a contest against his 
entry. As soon as he arrived at his claim he went to John and Newell 
Grant, who were then living together on Newell's claim the NW of 19, 
and told them of his danger. It was late at night and the country covered 
with snow. But the Grants are not men to stop at untried obstacles when 
a friend needs help. No sooner was the story told than the three men 
set to work. A small shanty owned by the Grants, was placed on timbers 
and drawn over the section line and placed, as the required improvement, 
on Francis' land. A stove and pipe were furnished, fuel provided, and on 
the next morning when the strangers arose to prepare for their trip, the 
old soldier had so black a smoke rolling out of the shanty that the whole 
13th N. Y. Heav)^ might have been there, and there could be no doubt 
about a residence having been established. The claim was saved. A few 
willows planted by Francis along the highway are now large trees, but 
their verdue is no greener than his memory among the people with whom 
he lived for more than a quarter of a century. He later sold his land to 
John McDonald now of Alpena. 

The Francis quarter was purchased in 1898 by Mr. C. P. Christenson, 
who has built upon it a fine home and has added to it, in one good farm, 
the SE of 20, held in the early days by J. W. Wright and also purchased 
by H. Bloodgood. Mr. Christenson has also purchased the NW of 20. 
once owned by Rev. J. G. Campbell as a timber claim. 

John A. McCarter who was here before other people came had a pre- 
emption and homestead on the west half of 29, while James, one of the 
boys, had a homestead on the SW of 30. These early settlers went out 
in the hegira that occurred during the "years of hard times.'" Their old- 
time holdings are now the property of others. 

Carl Kleppin, Sr., has 800 acres which includes the McCarter SW of 
29 and the north half and south east quarter of 31 and SW of 28. Of 
this land the north half of 32 was once the home of Jas. Houseman now 
in the Balck Hills country. The SE of 2)2 '^vas a pre-emption owned by 
G. A. Groves. 

The SW of 32 which is now owned by Paul Kleppin, of near Lane, 
was in 1883 the homestead of W. W. Goodwin, who was one of those 
who came to this township first, and stayed. Here was located old Sul- 
livan post office, where Mr. Goodwin was the postmaster. All the Klep- 


pin land is now in charge of two of the young men, George and Henry;, 
who are cultivating this year 450 acres. 

Across the way to the west lie two quarters upon which are no build- 
ings, the NE of 31, a pre-emption taken by Ed Lowe and the south east 
quarter of the same section taken as a pre-emption by C. A. Groves. At 
the NE corner of 6, I crossed the line into Viola township a country fair 
indeed, and I was literally "among Review readers." 

I entered Viola township one mile east of its west line and the same 
distance from the hill tops over which the town line runs. Because of the 
roughness of the country, the highway between Viola and Anina is trav- 
eled but little, and in some places is practically abandoned. On this slope, 
lying at the foot of the hills, is some of the richest soil in the state. 

On the west side of the road, and including the northeast quarter of 
6, and also the east half of the west half of the same section, is the new 
residence of J. P. Eberhard, a man who started in life as a pioneer. He 
lived 38 years on his father's homestead, entered in 1868, in Plymouth 
county, Iowa. Two years ago he left the old home and, with his smalL 
family settled here. He has a good new house and other improvements, 
which, with his 75 acres of excellent crop makes him feel that he made 
no mistake in coming to the foot of the hills. 

Twenty six years ago Miss Emma Cady taught the first school ever 
taught in this township. It was a subscription school and held in the 
basement of the dwelling house built by Rev. .Wm. Paganheart, a kind 
hearted German minister, who held as pre-emption and homestead, all of 
the east half of section 6. The teacher, the minister and the house have 
all diseappeared from Jerauld county. Her brother, RoUa Cady, was also 
a printer, on the Wessington Springs Herald, in the old days but is now 
living in Fargo, N. D., a conductor on the Great Northern Railway. But 
I am letting my pencil wander a long way from Viola township. 

On the old Voge farm across the way, the NW of 5, Will Annis lives. 
He came to the territory in 1884 and settled in Crow Lake township. He 
lived there eleven years and then moved to the Dr. Nesmith farm, the 
NE of 7, in this township. Then for a few years he occupied the Kalb 
farm, among the hills on the west line of 6. By hard work and close 
economy he was enabled, in 1905, to purchase the farm upon which he 
now resides. 

The next quarter upon this side of the road, the SVV of 5, with the 
quarter opposite, the SE of 6, constitute the farm of E. E. Nesmith and 
his wife. In 1883 he settled on the SE of 5, taking it as a homestead. He 
sold that and bought his present location in 1887. Late in the fall of that 
year he began preparations for building a new house. At odd spells, 
when the weather would permit, he worked at the building. In the fore- 


part of January, 1888, the house was inclosed, except the windows and 
he began the work of finishing. On the morning of January 12th he got 
Henry Stephens to assist him in putting on the casings. The weather was 
mild, with the wind in the southeast. They were making good progress 
when, suddenly, about ten o'clock, the wind changed to the northwest 
and the room was instantly filled with snow, fine as flour. A dense fog, 
struck by a cold wave and frozen in its minutest particles was being driven 
by a whirling, furious northwest wind. The great blizzard was on. With 
much difficulty they boarded up the openings and finally shut out the 
storm. But it was dangerous work, getting fuel from the straw pile a 
few rods distant. All day the two men listened to the howling of the 
storm. Sunset came and darkness added to their unpleasant situation. 
Getting fuel, which had been hazardous in the day-time, was doubly 
dangerous in the night. About midnight, tiring of the frequent trips, 
necessary to keep the stove going, Elmer declared his intention of going 
to the school house, .then, as now, located at the southeast corner of the 
SE of 6, and about 90 rods south of the house they were building. Henry 
was opposed to the attempt, but Elmer, who had successfully made all 
the trips to the straw pile, felt confident of being successful in the greater 
undertaking, and telling his companion to go or stay, as he pleased, set 
out. Henry followed close at his heels and together they reached the 
school house in safety. A fire was soon roaring in the coal stove. After 
getting warm and rested, Elmer determined to try to reach his father's 
house, 80 rods west of the school house, but Henry refused to venture 
further and putting more coal in the stove, settled down to wait for day- 
light. Nesmith, however, buttoned his coat a little tighter, tied up his 
ears a little closer, and made the dangerous try — how dangerous he did 
not fully realize imtil several days later, when the death list came in. He 
succeeded, but he would not try it now. The grit that enabled him to 
face the blizzard, brought him, and his no less gritty wife, through the 
years of hard times and discouragement that followed. Today they have 
a comfortable home, with a large herd, good crops and many indications 
of prosperity. 

My next stopping place was the farm of S. T. Smith, who has 480 
acres of excellent land in section 18. He moved on to this farm in March 
a year ago, having purchased it of John Grant. On this farm is a fine 
spring and I think one of the best artesian wells in the state. The water 
is cold and free from the peculiar taste characterstic of the water in most 
deep wells. A fifteen acre field of sod corn, planted on the loth day of 
June was in tassel at the time of my visit, the 27th day of July. Other 
crops were doing equally well. Mr. Smith has had varied experience in 
Dakota. His first venture was in Beadle countv where he lost over a 


hundred head of cattle in the great bHzzard of 1888. He went into the 
>heep raising business in Anina township in 1897, at one time having over 
3000 head. A few years ago he returned to his home in Winnebago 
county, III, but became convinced that the northwest afforded better op- 
portunities for the man with limited means, and came back again and 
purchased the home where he now lives. Upon this quarter section and 
on almost the same spot where the buildings now stand, John Phillips, 
who took it for his homestead, had his house and stable. On the 2nd 
day of April, 1889, a tornado of fire swept over this tract, destroying every 
vestige of improvements that Phillips had built. 

At the old home of T. K. Ford, I stopped again. This old pioneer 
residence is rich with interesting memories of the beginning of a county. 
It was the meeting place for discussion of all matters of local importance. 
On it the first religious services of the township were held, conducted by 
Rev. Jordan. Once started the services were continued during the months 
to come, before the school house, built in 1884, afforded a more com- 
modious place. The early settlers listened here to the earnest teachings 
of Revs. Vessey, Daniels, Paganhart, Jordan and Smith. Here the first 
Sunday school was organized. The hardy old pioneer has done his work 
and in gone. The world is surely better for his having lived in it. But 
two of his children are now residing in this county, a daughter Mrs. E. 
E. Nesmith and a son, Mr. J. A. Ford. The latter is living in the his- 
toric house, wdiile waiting for the completion of his new house, on the 
NE of 18, at one time held as a tree claim by a lady named Prior. Mr. 
Ford is clerk of the civil township, and he and his wife being both among 
the earliest of the early settlers, I was enabled to get from them a fund 
of information concerning the early times in that part of the county. 

At the NE corner of 19 stands the Ford school house. It w^as properly 
named, though it had no formal christening. The SE of 18 was owned 
by T. K. Ford, the SW of 17 by J. A. Ford; the NW of 20 by T. K. 
Ford; the SW of 20 by Mary Ford and the NE of 19 is now the property 
of J. A. Ford. 

Twentv-five years ago J. M. Simpson had a homestead entry on the 
NW of 19. This quarter is now owned by Edward Curl, who came here 
from Manilla, Iowa, three years ago and set to work to open up a new 
farm, for Simpson had done but little in the matter of making improve- 
ments. Mr. Curl has broken up and put to crop about 60 acres on his 
own farm and also put out 100 acres on rented land. His crops are good 
and his prospects encouraging. On the quarter north, the SW 18, at 
the southwest corner is located Union cemetery, owned by people of 
A^iola and Anina townships. In the beginning 12 lots were set apart as 


a potter's field. They are all vacant yet. The plan of this cemetery was 
drawn by J. A. Tyner. The surveying was done by T. L. Blank. 

J. A. Tyner was one of the early settlers in the west part of Viola 
township. He was prominent in all affairs of the township and was at 
one time a candidate on the republican ticket for the position of sheriff'. 
Like all candidates on the G. O. P. ticket for that office in this county. 
in the past, he didn't "get there.'' His farm was the one upon which Al- 
bert Ankrum has been living during the last five years, the NE of 30. 
Mr. Ankrum came from Woodbury county, Iowa, and is well pleased with 
his investment. He has been paying considerable attention to Duroc 
Jerseys with ver}' satisfactory results. In 1889 this farm was occupied 
by S. T. Smith. On the 2nd of April, of that year, it, like all others in 
that vicinity, was swept by the fire that made that day one to be remem- 
bered. Smith saved his buildings and the most of his animals. One 
cow, with a small calf, was out on the prairie, and was supposed to be 
lost. On the morning of the 3rd of April Mr. Smith was looking about 
the farm when he saw the cow coming towards the buildings. All her 
hair was singed off and she was badly burned. At a distance he saw the 
calf. It was well and sound as any calf, and had not been schorched in 
the least. It was one of the things unaccountable that happen in all great 
catastrophies. It was interesting only from its strangeness. 

On what was known in the early days as the Will Dixon farm, the 
NW of 30, Mr. S. H. LeValley, Jr., has as fine a crop prospect as will 
often be found. He came here with his father, S. H. LeA'alley, Sr.. who 
lives across the way, on the old Christ. Johnson place, the SW of 19. 
in the fall of 1906. At the time of my call at the residence of Mr. Le- 
Valley, Sr., the household was busy preparing for the wedding reception 
to be given that evening to their son and his bride, in honor of their mar- 
riage, an account of which appeared in the columns of "The Review" at 
the time of the occurrence. Friends were to be there from Viola and 
Anina townships, as well as from a distance, for the young man had 
brought home one of the most popular girls in Hawkeye A'alley. I made 
my visit short as possible — only long enough, in fact, to ask a few ques- 
tions, from which I learned, among other things, that this family came 
from Walforth county. Wis., and are pleased beyond their expectations 
with their South Dakota home. 

On the SE of 32 I found J. M. Dougan "keeping bach in a splendid 
'hair " on a fine farm of 960 acres. It incluacv. the NE of 33, once owned 
by Eliza Ellison, the C. E. Walker farm, the SW of 33. and the NW of 
the same section, formerly, for a short time, the home of Louis Desteiger, 
and a half section in the county across the line. Mr. Dougan was born 
in Mason City, Iowa, and never spent a day on a farm until he came here 


eight yearsago and purchased this tract. He has stayed right on this farm 
ever since. In that time his riches have increased rapidly. Last winter 
he kept, without any losses, 400 cattle and 100 horses. The cattle will 
all be '^ feeders" this season and he has 80 of the horses left, having sold 
twenty of them this spring. The horses are of the Percheron breed and 
all young animals. The cattle are all steers except thirty cows and 
heifers. Last year he sold $2,000 worth of hogs and has 120 head on the 
farm now. They are all Poland Chinas. 

After a good dinner with bachelor Dougan I rode and walked east, 
for the way was not good for wheeling, until I reached the quarter sec- 
tion, the SE of 33, where 26 years ago H. H. Kieser settled as one of 
the first settlers in this part of Jerauld county. In the fall of the year 
before, 1881, he and his brother John had visited this region, then a part 
of Aurora county, and made timber culture entries — H. H. Kieser taking 
the SE of 33 and John taking the SW of 34. Through good times and 
hard times, wet times and dry times, Mr. Kieser has stuck to his land ; 
he stayed with it when it was worth but $5 per acre and de still keeps 
it when he could easily get $45. He now has the south half of 34 and the 
SE of 33. He came to Viola township, when it was only known as "106 
— 64," from Kansas. In 1903 he put down an artesian well, and last year 
built a new house that is a credit to the township. He is rich in this 
world's goods, having on this splendid farm 90 acres of corn, 105 acres of 
wheat, 13 acres of oats, 65 head of cattle, 20 horses and 70 hogs. i\Ir. 
Kieser's brothers also have good farms in this vicinity which I will men- 
tion hereafter. 

At the NE of 27 I met Mr. August Schuttpelz, who, in company with 
Mr. Wm. Wetzel came here in 1883, and filed on this quarter for a home- 
stead. Mr. Wetzel took the quarter across the road east. After living 
on this land until he made proof Mr. Shuttpelz sold his land to Herman 
Heinz and went back to Hancock county, Iowa. Twelve years he re- 
mained there and then once more came to Dakota, to repurchase his old 
residence. He has developed and improved his farm until now he is the 
happy owner of a home that ought to content any one. 

Mr. Wetsel, who came with Mr. Schuttpelz in 1883, has lived one- 
score-and-five years on the homestead the government gave him at that 
time. The farm now includes the whole west half of section 26 and he 
and his sons are prospering to their hearts' content. The buildings are 
good, the soil is of the best and the crops can not be beaten in any state. 
An artesian well supplies abundance of water for all purposes, and with 
rural telephone and mail delivery, what more can any one want. The old 
home quarter is now owned by one of the boys, INIax Wetzel, who married 
Bertha Klink last March. 


Max Wetzel I found harvesting a fine crop of grain on the west half 
of 2^. Peter Klink, who lived on this half-section, w'as well known to 
all the early settlers and was interested in the organization of the town- 
ship. He died ten years ago. ISIrs. Klink continued to live on the farm 
until two years ago, when she moved into Lane, wdiere she still resides. 

Lest some of the "Review" readers who live out of the county, or out 
of the state, and have not seen the prosperity that has come upon the 
people among whom I have been "a wheeling," should think that I am 
out on a bouquet-throwing expedition, I want to say, before writing more 
of my trips about the county, that I have during the past three years, been 
over a large portion of Iowa and Illinois, two as good states as there are 
in the Union, and I have no where seen farmers any more prosperous than 
they are in Jerauld county. Land that in the older states is selling at 
from ^loo to $150 per acre gives no better returns than the farmers here 
get on land that is selling at $35 to $50. To those of the readers who 
have never been here I say, come and see ; to thos who came early and 
left in "the hard times" I say, come again for the sake of "auld lang 
syne" and see what has come to those who couldn't go wdien you did. 
These articles are not "knockers," neither are they "boosters," but they 
are intended to be truthfully descriptive of the country and the people, 
as I have known them in the past twenty-five years. So far I have said 
nothing of the "hot winds" that devastated this country as the grasshop- 
pers did Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Minnesota, or as the chintz bug. 
weewil and cutworms did the states of Illinois, Michigan and Indiana ; 
but before I am done I shall tell it all in the history of the "hard times in 
Dakota," about which so much has been said. 

Chas. Walters has a good farmstead on the XE 40 of the KW of 22. 
A house that would be a credit to any farm in the older states, a large and 
commodious barn, with convenient outbuildings, cattle and hogs, whose 
numbers he doesn't know. Charlie, as he is familiarly known, is happy 
in the enjoyment of the fruits of his years of pioneering. About his 
buildings is a fine grove, planted years ago when he first settled on this 
land, for this was Mr. Walter's homestead. A shallow well that furnishes 
the best of cold water, has been known to the people for miles around 
during all the years that he has lived here. For several years it afforded 
drinking water for all the settlers in the central part of the township. 
People would drive past other wells for miles around to slake their thirst 
at this famous well. It still furnishes abundance of water, but people 
have become accustomed to the taste of the water from artesian wells, of 
which there are twenty-one in the township and so do not take the trouble 
to go so far to get the better water at Charlie's place. The years have 
prospered well with Mr. A\''alters. He now has just one thousand acres 


Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Haiicbuth. Kcv. and Mrs. Charles / 'csscv. 

E. E. Nc smith. 

W. H. McMillan. 

John Coulcv. 

Sylvester T. Smith Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Kino;. Charles Walters. 


in his splendid farm. He made his homestead entry on three forties in 
section 15 and this one forty in 22. His pre-emption right he filed on 
the SE of 15 and afterward purchased the NW of 15, the Mike Houk 
homestead, where Chas. Walters, Jr., now resides. He also owns the SW. 
of 28, the old Primmer homestead and the SW of 32. The NW of 14, 
where Mr. Moss had his homestead claim, has also been added to Mr. 
Walter's farm. Mr. W. came here in 1881. His artesian well was the 
second one to be put down in Viola township. 

In i88_| the Villbrandt family came to Viola township direct from the 
fatherland. They rented the NE 2 and afterward bought it for four 
hundred dollars, paying one hundred down, and then all went to work to 
clear off the three hundred dollar mortgage. Almost incessantly the 
wdiole family worked. Fate was against them. Their experience was the 
same as hundreds of others who were here in the '"hard times"' — they 
couldn't pay the interest and taxes. The mortgage worked more eft'ec- 
tually than they could and it took the farm. William afterwards bought 
the farm back for $800 and paid for it, while Frank Villbrandt pur- 
chased the old Nate Rhodes farm the NE of 20. It hardly seems cred- 
ible that he should have had the courage to make another effort in the 
immediate vicinity of the land upon which he and his brothers had so 
signally failed. But he did, and I found him looking at the carpenters 
who were rapidly bringing to completion another of those elegant houses 
of which so many are to be found in Jerauld county. He was badly 
crippled with a sudden attack of sciatica, but there was a look of satis- 
faction on his face as he told me of his hardships and trials and his ulti- 
mate success. He has a good barn (anyone acquainted with German 
families knows what that means) a strong artesian well, 120 acres in 
cultivation, farm well fenced and to this he has added another 160 acres, 
the NW of 28, a quarter section once held as a homestead by Chas. 

(jeorge Clodt has the south half and the northwest quarter of section 
77. He was but 15 years of age when he came to Dakota Territory, and 
when he became of age he purchased relinquishments and placed his 
homestead, pre-emption and tree claim rights on the SE of 17, which car- 
ried hitii through the hard, times without a heavy incumberance on the 
land. He then bought the other two quarters the John M. Primmer pre- 
emption and the J. A. Ford homestead. The three quarters make one of 
the best farms of the county. A large white farm house, a large red barn 
and other improvements necessary to the convenience of a farm. He has 
had poor luck with his artesian wells. He has put down two, but both 
have gone dry. With true Dakota pluck, however, he will try again. 


One special feature of his farm of which he is justly proud, is a fine 
young orchard. 

At the Kleppin mail box I met A. V. Hall, also on a wheel, carrying 
the mail, which was light that morning, down into the country where I 
had been since Monday morning. He delivers every day at seventy-four 
boxes, the letters and papers addressed to ninety-seven persons. The wheel 
was heavily loaded, but he was making good time. 

On the 31st day of July the wind being in the S\\', I decided to take 
a run through Dale township and as I thought of the deep pools of Sand 
Creek, lying along the east side of that township, I tied my fish pole on 
the "bike" and headed in that direction. Harvesting was everywhere in 
full swing, and in some places the thresher had commenced his work. I 
did not stop until I reached a knoll near the north line of Wessington 
Springs township. It was covered with a thick growth of ash trees 
planted long ago by F. T. Tofflemier, and known as "Ash Knoll." 

Probably no man in Jerauld county was better or more favorably 
known tlian he. In November, 1881, he came to the Territory of Dakota 
and filed his homestead on the NW of 5 in Wessington Springs township 
and made a timber culture entry on the SW of 33 in Dale. In March the 
next year he brought his family and began a residence on the land se- 
lected for his home, which continued until the time of his death, October 
22, 1905. He and his good wife lived long enough to know that their life 
work had been a success. A large family of splendid boys and girls grew 
up around them. Today those children are scattered far and wide, but 
wherever they are each one in his or her place is a credit to the name of 
Tofflemier. The mother survived the father but a few days. Of the 
children. Tell and Ross are in Lyman county, this state, although 50 miles 
apart. Maud is in Michigan, Floyd is in Red Lands, California. Ruth is 
in Winona, Minn., Ollie has a good home in Missouri, Lou lives at Custer, 
S. D., while Fanny, Louis and Kate still have their postoffice at Wessing- 
ton Springs. Louis lives on the old farm. Sufifering from an operation 
for appendicitis. Louis has been compelled to hire most of his farm work 
done, but has managed so well that the year has been to him a very profit- 
able one. 

At no place in my travels awheel have I met more gratifying evidence 
of what energy and perseverance can accomplish, even in the face of 
manifold discouragements, than on the NE of 32, the C. D. Brown claim 
of twenty-five years ago. E. W. Simmons, and his determined wife, after 
long years of hard work and adversity, in which they had tried claim- 
holding, farming, renting and "working out" three years ago found them- 
selves in position to buy this quarter and again start farming "on their own 
Tiook." They won, with the help of the boys, and last spring added to the 


farm the E half of the SE of 30. They rented other land and have 450 
acres of crop that will place them among the people on "Easy Street." 
At last they have a home of their own. It's a "dandy," and not for sale. 

A few rods further north and on the opposite side of the road, in a 
fine grove of trees, stands the dwelling of Mr. Christiansen, the school 
clerk of Dale township. He came from Minnesota in 1904 and purchased 
the south half of 29 and the old Elmer Taylor 80 in the SE of 30. The 
latter tract he sold to Mr. Simmons last spring. He has 120 acres to crop 
on the S half of 29. It is fine grain and he is content. The early map 
of the county says but Httle of this half section. On the SW quarter ap- 
pears the name Beal and on the SE is the name Miller, and on each is the 
letter "D," indicating that at the time the map was made both quarters 
were deeded land. 

I went on north past the Chas. Smith homestead, the NW of 29, past 
the Sarah Brown tree claim, the SW of 20, and turned the corner at the 
north side of that section, where Lawrence Russell had a homestead when 
wild antelope looked from the top of the Wessington Hills at the canvas 
tops of the settlers' wagons that dotted the Jim river valley. In the road 
near the corner on the west side of the section stood Jim La Ban's 
engine and separator. That night some one set fire to the separator and 
it was utterly destroyed. Who did it is one of the mysteries that will 
probably never be solved. 

John Doctor lives with his mother on the Lawrence Russell quarter 
and though a bachelor, seems as happ)^ and contented as any benedict in 
the land. His crops are good and the acreage large enough to keep him 

I went east past Frank Eagle's place and turned north along the west 
line of the school section, but crossed the NW quarter to where R. T- 
Tracy, ex-county commissioner — "ex" simply because he is a democrat 
and the republicans had the most votes — was making extensive improve- 
ments to his already commodious house. He has 960 acres in his farm. 
^vhich includes the SE of 9, where John Dynes had his homestead ; the 
SW of 9, where Adam Graham had a tree claim entry; James Eastman's 
old pre-emption, the NE of 9; Wm. Burn's pre-emption and the John 
Maxon tree claim, these two quarters giving him the west half of ten. and 
his own homestead, the NW of 15, entered at the Mitchell land office in 
May, 1883. A large herd of fine cattle and 300 acres of good crops with 
old corn in the crib, "Rob" is "fixed" well enough. He went through the 
hard times and stayed, while those who took the land from the govern- 
ment left and endured the hard times somewhere else. With some of 
them the complaint became chronic and they will have "hard times" as 


long as they stay in this world and nothing but universalism can help them 
in the next. 

After leaving Tracy's land I turned northeast across the quarter at 
one time held by Solon Palmer, as a homestead ; to the northwest corner 
of Lewis Fenstimaker's homestead ; then north between Wm. J. Reese's 
pre-emption and Ed Palmer's homestead, until I reached the SE corner 
of the claim held by Henrietta M. Arne as a tree claim, the SE of 3. Wm. 
J. Reese had another claim, the SW of 2, and after rolling along past that 
I came to John Teasdale's milelong homestead. It took in the south half 
of the SE of 2 and the south half of the SW of i. Mrs. Teasdale's father, 
Chas. Dawson, had a claim on the north 80 of the SE of 2. 

At the southeast corner of the Teasdale land stands the school house 
that bears his name. This building is unlocked and destitute of furniture, 
but is to be fitted up for school again this year. 

The Teasdale land is now owned and occupied by Michael Wahl, a 
Russian gentleman, who has added greatly to the improvements and ex- 
tended the limits of the farm, which now includes the Teasdale homestead 
the SE of I ; the S half of NE of i ; the S half of 2, and a quarter section 
in Beadle county. An artesian well affords abundance of water for his 
125 head of cattle, while 400 acres of good crops insure ample forage and 
grain for the coming winter. 

Harry Sheffield owns 240 acres in the north half of section one in Dale 
township. A part of this farm was once owned by B. B. Beadel and part 
by Anthony C. Bixler. Both of them left the state about the time it was 
admitted to the Union and their land was used by different persons for 
various purposes untid 1901 when Mr. Sheffield bought it. Since then the 
Anglo-Saxon grit and untiring energy of this English lad has made it 
bring forth the crops that have made him prosperous and independent. 
He has been for several years the clerk of the civil township of Dale. 
Several weeks ago, when writing of a trip through Alpena township I 
mentioned the trip made by Mrs. Sheffield from England with her boys 
to join her husband who had come on some months before. Harry was 
one of the bovs. His farm is a good one and at the time of my visit he 
was softly and carefully uttering ejaculations at the perversity of a twine 
binder that seemed to object to doing just one more harvest before going 
to that rest accorded to all good binders when their days of work are 

The sun was just sinking behind the hills as I left Mr. Sheffield's 
place to retrace my way to the banks of Sand Creek to angle \\ith hook 
and fly for the speckled trout, that I knew was not there. A few chubs, 
shiners, crawfish and bullheads were landed and then, after eating a lunch 


to dispel a part of my "fisherman's luck," I climbed to the top of a hay 
stack and slept soundly until morning. 

Across the road, south, is the quarter section where Wood Richardson 
had his soldier's homestead. He was a good fellow, but like many an- 
other good fellow he got disgusted with the "hard times" and went away 
practically abandoning land that today is worth half a hundred dollars per 
acre. This land is the NE of 24. 

The NW of 24 was a tree claim, held by A. Huxtable, who never did 
anything with it. It is now one of the many valuable quarters in the 

Without stopping again I went on past the SE of 14 where S. E. Mann 
had a timber culture entry in the early days ; past the NE of 26, once 
owned by Mike Lynch ; along the south line of the land held when the 
country was new by Ed Crawford, and where the first school in the town- 
ship was taught, until I reached the corners at the Dale Center school 
liouse. These corners are interesting. The NW of 23 is owned and oc- 
cupied by Geo. H. Young, one of the few men in the county who are still 
living on the land they got from Uncle Sam 26 years ago. He owns a 
half section, having purchased the NW of 14 in 1895, upon which proof 
was made by Mrs. Ed Eddy of Chery township. Mr. Young has good 
soil on his farm and knows how to make the best of it. He cultivates 160 
acres of his land, using the balance for meadows and pasture. 

NE of 22 was obtained from the government by Andrew Mercer, for 
four years sheriff of the county and the man who proposed the name 
adopted for this township. 

The SE of 15 was where Ely W. Chapman made his homestead entry 
in 1882. He held on as long as he could and then quit. He had the dis- 
tinction of being the only man to be convicted of a crime in Jerauld county 
on a plea of "not guilty." It was one of those court mistakes that do some- 
times occur. There is no question now but that E. W. Chapman was not 
guilty of the crime with which he was charged. In 1894 this farm was 
purchased by J. H. Young, a son of Geo. H. Young. He is a good deal 
of a horticulturist and besides other fruits has an acre of grape vines 
growing in good condition. I stayed with George Young over night and 
the next morning started back east to take a look at some farms of 
especial interest, one of which I had passed the previous evening. 

A mile east of the Dale Center school house is a beautiful pond, com- 
paratively deep, with high banks. It stretches across the section line and 
so the road curves to the south onto the NE of 23. This pond, or lake, 
furnishes the best of fish, bull-heads, for many families in the neighbor- 
hood. Although it is but two miles from Sand Creek its fish are so much 
better in firmness and taste that they are sought in preference to those in 


tlie stream. The lake covers about eight or ten acres and lies mostly on 
the farm of Wm. Daleske, who settled on the SE of 14 in 1893 and put 
down an artesian well. The well supplies the water for the lake. The 
iish were put in the pond as soon as it was filled with water and now the 
supply of them is abundant. All the improvements on this farm are good. 
This thrifty farmer owns the SW of 14, the SW of 13, and the NE of 
23, in addition to the quarter upon which his buildings are located, making 
a full section in all. 

Nearly a mile north of the residence of Mr. Daleske, but on the NE 
of the same section is the dwelling "of Ernest Schmidt. He has three 
quarters but the land is not all together. In addition to the NE of 14 he 
owns the NE of 15 and the NW of 24. Of this land 160 acres are in 
crop this year. He also has a good artesian well which affords abundance 
of water for all purposes on the farm, and fills a deep valley in which large 
numbers of fish can be taken at any time. This well was drilled in 1898. 
Mr. Schmidt took the NE of 14 in 1883, as a homestead, and has resided 
there ever since. 

Across the road north from Ernest Schmidt is the homestead of his 
brother, Dan Schmidt. The two brothers came to the Territory of Da- 
kota at nearly the same time and took as homesteads, quarters lying side 
by side. Dan also took the SW of 12, putting upon it his tree claim right. 
At that time Dr. Wheelan had a filing on the NW of 13, and Mr. Fenste- 
niaker on the SW of 11. These two tracts Dan Schmidt has added to his 
farm and also the NW of 11, and the NE of 24. A detached quarter, 
the SW of 24, is also owned by Mr. Schmidt, but is occupied by his son- 
in-law, Frank Detleff. Dan Schmidt has the honor of being the first to 
j/ut down an artesian well in Jerauld county. It was an expensive venture 
in those days, but he was full of the confidence that he still has in South 
Dakota. He made the try and won. Since then hundreds of wells have 
been dug in the adjacent country. Dan Schmidt's success in getting a 
deep well gave renewed hope to liis neighbors and revived their confi- 
<Ience in the wealth hidden in the earth if they would but go after it. The 
creameries, stock-raising, sheep raising and the ultimate success in all 
lines of agriculture, that has prevailed in this and adjoining counties are 
in a great measure due to the success of this German farmer in his eiTorts 
to get a supply of water from the deep-hidden streams of the earth. I 
drank from the well. The water is cool and refreshing, and the supply 
as abundant as when the drill point first tapped the fountain in 1886. This 
is a German home, retaining many of the customs of the fatherland. It 
was about ten o'clock in the forenoon when I arrived on my wheel at the 
farm. I met a sweet-faced German lassie taking a generous mid-fore- 
iioon lunch to the men in the harvest field. With his fertile fields, his large 


herds, his private fishing pond and his beautiful home Dan Schmidt is 
enjoying a quiet prosperity that any one might envy. 

From here I wheeled north on a fairly good road to Wahls farm and 
then took the hill road west. On one of the highest points I stopped a 
few moments and looked over the ground where Jack Crawford, now of 
Watertown, had his residence and blacksmith shop at the time he was 
"holding down" the SE of 3. The shop was near the highway and 
passing teamsters could, early and late, hear the clang of hammer and 
anvil long before they reached the shop. The light of his forge could be 
seen by the settlers miles around long after the shades of night had set- 
tled over the lonely hill tops. Jack was a busy workman and hundreds of 
acres of prairie sod where broken up with the lays he sharpened. 

A mile and a half further west and I stopped to have a look at a 
new home located on the SW of 4, where four years ago was nothing but 
raw prairie. Tom Yegge, a son of C. M. Cegge, whose farm near Al- 
pena I had visited a few weeks before, came on to this quarter in 1905. 
now has a good start made toward making a fine place. Tom is a "chip 
ofT the old block." His beginning with fruit is great. The late frost last 
spring destroyed the fruit crop for this year, but that occurs so seldom 
that he is not in the least discouraged. If I am not mistaken. Tom Yegge 
and John Young will show to the rising generation as fine grapes, pears 
and apples as can be grown in any of the northern states. But Tom has 
not devoted all his time to horticulture. A small, but comfortable house, 
good stables and 65 acres of good crops are other results of his three 
years work on this quarter section. 

I then turned south on the road between sections 8 and 9, toward 
Wessington Springs. Years ago Frank Eastman had a pre-emption, 
filing on the NVV of 9, and as such proved up on it and got a patent signed 
by Grover Cleveland. That was all that Frank did with it except to add 
a mortgage. In 1902 Ernest Scott came to South Dakota with his father, 
John Scott, and settled on this quarter. Now a neat new house, com- 
fortable outbuildings and 80 acres of cultivation are indications of the 
prosperity that has attended the young farmer's efforts. 

Again I passed along the west side of the school section and saw the 
same little pile of lumber lying just as it did when I came this way in May. 
But there is no water in the creek, now, (that's an Irish bull) and so the 
crossing is good enough. It reminded me of the xA.rkansas Traveler. 

On section 21 are two good new houses. B. F. Gebhart is on the N^\' 
quarter and his father-in-law, W. R. Winter, has the south half. They 
came on here last year from Buffalo county and began to develop the 
farms. No one in the county has done better than they. The substantial 
buildings and other improvements show that they have been busy. 


Away back in the '80s and '90s Joe Scott tried hard on the NE of 29 
to battle against adversity in the form of poor crops and low prices. After 
a long- struggle in which he won the respect of all his neighbors and 
acquaintances, he gave it up and moved away. In the spring of 1907 a 
gentleman named J. H. McVey, came here from Montezuma, Iowa, in 
search of a new home. He saw this tract and determined to make his try 
on it. When I called there I found him on a binder harvesting a splendid 
crop and ready to compare his farm as to intrinsic value, with anything 
anywhere. He has added to the Scott farm the E half of the NW of the 
same section and he certainly has a farm hard to beat. 

At supper time I again rolled into Wessington Springs. 

One morning in September I mounted the bike and started out to 
follow the wind in a run up through Chery township to spend a day about 
the lakes in the north part of Harmony, said to be "aUve with ducks." 
As much as possible, I followed the old road along the foot of the hills. 
I "hit" it occassionally until I reached the first site of the old Elmer post- 
office. Here I received the first letters addressed to me in Dakota Terri- 
tory, in November, 1883. It was the P. O. for the village of Wessington 
S]3rings and vicinity for several months. An assistant post master general 
under Arthur wanted the office to bear his name, and so designated it, 
giving the name of Wessington to a new office on the C. & N. W. Ry. in 
Beadle county, at the north end of the range of hills. The name of Elmer 
v\as finally dropped, at the earnest request of the office patrons and it 
has ever since been Wessington Springs. The two names, Wessington and 
Wessington Springs, cause no end of trouble to mail agents and postmas- 
ters, for people will not remember that one place is not the other. 

When I arrived at the place where Uncle Peter and Aunt Sarah 
dwelt, long before the town, now with its thousand inhabitants, was 
thought of. I had to open a gate, cross the gulch and take to the hills. 
That was the last of the old road. Thereafter I had to lead the wheel in 
cattle and sheep pastures and lift it over fences, for a bicycle is not of 
much account in a hurdle race. 

At the Wallace ranch I crossed the "draw" by the side of the old 
bridge built by the county twenty-two years ago. There was no water 
near it, so the crossing was easy. I leaned the wheel against the wire 
fence and went to the well for a drink. I am not disposed to praise that 
well very much, but the water was wet. The ranch is one of the best in 
the county, affording abundance of grass in the summer and natural pro- 
tection from all storms in the winter, while the bubbling springs furnish 
plenty of water for stock. This place is historic in many respects. Two 
townships were named here. The returns of the election in 1883, separ- 
ating Jerauld county from Aurora, were brought to this place by mes- 


sengers from all parts of the county. H. J. Wallace, who owned the 
ranch for many years, was probably the most popular man the county ever 
had. At his tirst election as county treasurer he received more votes than 
any other candidate ever voted for in the county — only two votes being 
cast against him. He served three terms as county treasurer, two terms 
as county surveyor and when the office of state surveyor was created in 
1893 he was appointed by Gov. Sheldon to fill the position. 

The next stop was at W. F. Yegge's, who is clerk of the civil township 
of Chery. He owns the N half of 21. The NE quarter which Frank 
Simons abandoned, after seven years residence, Mr. Yeggt took as a 
homestead in 1896. He afterwards purchased the NW quarter which was 
homesteaded by Joe Geopfert in 1883. A small stock of well selected 
groceries is kept by Mr. Yegge, who for several years was the master of 
Stock postoffice. I worked at the civil township records until near sun 
down and then leaving the job unfinished, I started on. I followed the 
section line until I got lost and confused among the hills and gulches and 
after much leading and pushing, but no riding, arrived with the wheel at 
the McCloud farm on section 18. 

No one ever knew the hospitality of Aaron jMcCloud to fail. A hearty 
welcome, a good supper, and a splendid night's rest banished all remem- 
berance of the evening's experience in taking the bike through the deep 
ravines and monstrously heavy grass of that hilly region. Nine years be- 
fore I had visited this place in company with J. R. Eddy. Then nothing" 
but blackened ruins marked the places where his buildings had stood. A 
prairie fire, driven by a furious wind, had devastated his farm and left him 
houseless and destitute so far as personal property is concerned. No one 
is destitute in the worst sense of the word, who has the pluck shown by 
this old settler and his wife. The old man's story surely had in it much 
of the pathetic. He and his wife had together climbed the hill of life, 
toiling, struggling, always ready to extend a hand of willing helpfulness 
to another, and just as they could see an easy road before them, they had 
to stand helpless while the earnings of a life time went up 
■ in smoke. Then came the wonder part of it. For a moment 
only they seemed dazed with their loss. Then realizing that 
once more they were at the foot of the hill, they touched shoulders and 
began to climb. Today the old hero and his hero wife, have a house of 
which they are, and the county may well be, proud. I picked grapes 
from his vineyard, saw him gather as fine vegetables as can be found in 
the county, went through his comfortable house and barn, and looked 
over his 480 acres and was astonished to find that in nine years they had 
(lone what many have taken a life time to do. and all that after passing 


the age of 60 years. Possibly they could not have done it in any other 

Bidding the McClouds good morning I peddaled north until 1 had 
passed the homesteads of Gene Lewis, Dave Lewis and Silas Kinney, and 
then turned west, passing the claims of Benjamin Drake, Hiram Crosby 
and D. V. K. Funk, the latter having married the widow Berger, whose 
husband was killed by lightning on this claim the SW of i, in the sum- 
mer of 1883. I did not stop again until I had reached the lakes of north- 
ern Harmony. Ever since the first settlement of the county these lakes 
have been the resort of sportsmen in the duck shooting season. In the 
early days a number of expert marksmen lived in this vicinity, who spent 
many pleasant hours on the banks of these ponds. Among them were 
Jeff Sickler, now in California, Will Miller, whose present address I do 
not know, Wm. Titus, now of Wessington Springs and Joe Collier, now 
a resident of Alpena. Among the many others who enjoyed the sport 
was one who was known and loved by all who lived on the west side of 
the county. A. N. Alward was a true gentleman and a true sportsman. 
He was with me at the time he lost his famous hunting dog, "Sport." 
For 16 years the dog had been his constant attendant, but on that occa- 
sion was too infirm to make the trip. We spent the day on the banks of 
Ponton's lake. The old man was constantly talking of the fine qualities of 
his dog and finally quoted all of Eliza Cook's splendid poem about the 
Indian king and his dog. He said he had not thought of it before for 
thirty years, yet so good was his memory that he repeated it all without 
missing a line. Ducks were thick that day, but neither of us got a bird, 
although each of us shot away two boxes of shells. Want of skill could 
account for this lack of success on my part, but some other reason must 
account for Alward's failure. Wlien he returned to Templeton, where he 
was then living, the old dog was dead. It was the last dog he ever owned, 
and during the balance of his life he hunted but little. 

The lake by which we spent that day is on the south half of SW of 3. 
That 80-acre tract was taken as a pre-emption by August Ponto in the 
spring of 1884. He lived there working hard and "keeping bach." until 
the $100 mortgage he gave when he made proof took it and he moved 
from it, putting a homestead filing on the NE of 2, where he died a few 
years later. 

Section 2.2 of Harmony township has had considerable to do with its 
history. The first religious services were held in Peter Welfing's sod 
shanty on the northwest quarter. The preaching was by Wm. Marshall . 
Mr. and Mrs. Huntley and others, as occasion offered. 

Close to the southw^est corner stake of this section a meeting was held 
in April, 1884, to determine the course to be pursued in regard to the 


public schools of the township. It was held in the open air. I do not 
remember all who were present, but among them were O. O. and C. W. 
England, T. N. Rich, C. W. and C. Mills, O. J. Marshall, Daniel Mitchell, 
Louis Nordyke, James Grieve, Clayton Brown, and his son, William, H. 
A. Peirce, J. R. and Siegel Eddy, George Brady, W. T. Hammack, John 
Murphy, C. G. Smith, Peter Welfing and myself. As a result of this 
meeting one of the school houses was located at the northwest corner of 
the SW of 26, James Grieve, who owned that Cjuarter, donating the use 
of the ground needed for that purpose. The land upon which this im- 
portant meeting was held was then a tree claim owned by Col. Geddes 
of Huron. He tried several times to get the required number of trees 
started but failed utterly'. This quarter with the Welfing claim north of 
it afterward became the home of H. T. Gilbert, who married Marion 
Grieve and together they made of it one of the best paying farms of the 
township. The northeast quarter of this section was in later years the 
scene of a terrible tragedy. Alba Eddy who had been one of the school 
boys of the township, had when he became of age obtained this quarter 
section as a homestead. He married Francis Andrews and here they lived, 
prospering more than any other young settlers of the township. He be- 
came the owner of all the east half of the section and also of the SE of 
21. One morning he went out to shoot a dog that had become a nuisance 
'about the place. The report of the gun was heard by ]\Irs. Eddy and the 
children who were in the house. A few moments later his lifeless form 
was found with his head terribly mangled. The charge had entered the 
back ])art of the brain and death was instantaneous. How it happened 
will never be known. 

The meeting above mentioned was held in the open near where the 
section lines cross. A few feet to the west, on section 21, was G. W. 
Titus" sod shanty. To the south of that was the residence of Wm. Titus, 
while a few rods east, on the NW of 27 was the sod house of James 
Grieve in which he lived while holding his pre-emption. He afterward 
moved onto the SW of 26 where he had placed his homestead filing. 
Upon that he built a more comfortable home, and there lived until his 
death a few years later. His son, Walter, still occupies the old home- 
stead and this year has built a splendid 8-rooni house that excels any other 
farm liome in that part of the county. At the time of my visit he was 
the township clerk and from his books I obtained the story of the organ- 
ization of Harmony township. 

From Mrs. Fee, school clerk, I obtained the school records of Har- 
mony township, and taking them to the Templeton school house I spent 
a half day in making extracts from the entries made by the clerks during 
the last 24 years. School houses in Jerauld county, like its post offices 


and postmasters have b.een subject to removals, and the Grieve school 
house was no exception. In the early '90s it was moved from its original 
site to the southeast corner of the SE of 26, where it has remained to the 
present time. It is kept locked and is one of the few school houses in 
the county that are well protected from prairie fires. 

Over in Marlar township I found George Scofield on section 25. A 
part of this farm was once owned by Mr. De Lap, who now lives out in 
Oregon, and part by Mr. Lamb, who has a railroad contract out west 
somewhere. When the first school census was taken in 1884, the name 
of George Scofield appeared among the children of school age. He is 
now clerk of the school township of which he was then a pupil. George 
has seen the ups and downs of frontier life since his boyhood days, but 
has stuck by Marlar township in which he has prospered. 

My next objective point was the home of W. W. Yates on the S half 
of 31. Before reaching there, however, I stopped for dinner with J. J. 
Groub on the SW of 33. When the railroad follows the telephone into 
this region this farm will be as desirable as any in the county. Without 
being rough it has an elevation that enables its occupants to see all over. 
Gann Valley and the country away off toward Kimball and Chamberlain ; 
the location of the old town of Waterbury, once a thriving prairie vil- 
lage, but now reduced to one lone residence and that occupied by a 
bachelor, and then across Crow Creek into Logan township and beyond 
that across Smith Creek toward White Lake in Aurora county. I was 
as well pleased with the beautiful view from the farm of John Groub as 
any I have seen in the county. But the view is not all. One branch of 
Crow Creek heads at a big spring on one part of this farm that affords 
abundance of water for any number of animals. It is one of the com- 
paratively few really big springs of the county. The land has a gradual 
slope to the south and is of good soil and nearly all tillable, but John and 
'Trix" are devoting their attention mainly to cattle and horses, of which 
they have some splendid specimens. The residence of the Groub family 
on the SW of 33 dates back only to 1900. Prior to that on the 6th day 
of May, 1883, they settled on sections 19 and 20 of this township. The 
familv had come from Harrison county, Missouri, and while driving 
about over the section upon which they made their home, they met an- 
other man who was also looking for land. A greeting and a few mo- 
ments talk revealed the fact that the stranger was also from Harrison 
county. Missouri. Their first meeting was on section 19 in the township 
that was afterward to bear the stranger's name ; he was Mr. B. F. Mar- 
laur. The first settlers in range 67, which in Jerauld county includes 
Marlar, Crow and Logan townships, supposed they were taking homes in 
Buffalo county. This erroneous idea continued until after the election of 


delegates to the constitutional convention that met that summer in Sioux 
Falls. The township in which the Groubs took their claims was then un- 
surveyed and the settlers could only guess at the lay of it, or hire a sur- 
veyor to run the lines for them. From the lines in the township south 
that had been surveyed, they were enabled, generally, to locate their claims 
so as to avoid trouble when the plats were finally published. The same 
condition prevailed in most of the western townships of the county. John 
Groub placed his filing on the SE of 19. Geo. Groub took the S half of 
the SW of 20 and the N half of the NW of 29 and their father secured 
a homestead right on the NE of 30. The John Groub house still stands 
on the SE of 20. The father, Z. Groub, was for several years one of the 
magistrates of the county. When the family decided to do stock raising 
instead of farming they removed to their present location on section 33. 
Among the amusing things connected with their first few weeks' ex- 
perience in their Dokato home was that of John in trying to send a letter 
to friends back in Missouri. He wrote the letter and w^ent to the town 
of Waterbury, about six miles away to get an envelope and stamp. When 
he arrived at the village he was directed to the postoffice. He found ]\Iiss 
Francis Waterbury, now Mrs. Mount of Wausa, Neb., in charge. He 
asked for a stamp and envelope but was informed that she had none and 
that she did not know where he could get them unless it was at the black- 
smith shop kept by Mr. Dement. Wondering at the "slackness of Uncle 
Sam" in not keeping his postoffice supplied with stamps he went to the 
place indicated and found that the blacksmith had a bunch of envelopes 
and 50 cents in postage stamps, all there was in town. He obtained what 
he wanted and then learned that there was no postoffice in the town. 
Twice a week E. S. Waterbury, who founded the village, went to Kim- 
ball, twenty-four miles away and Ijrought up the mail for the people, who 
had settled in this locality. This service was rendered free of charge. 
People got their mail at his residence, hence it was called the postoffice. 
Another experience in which John Groub and his neighbors of that 
day took an active part, serious and earnest enough at the time, but after- 
ward the subject of many a jest, was digging for coal on the Morris 
Curtis homestead in section 4 of Crow township. For some reason Mr. 
Curtis became convinced that a stratum of coal could be found at a reason- 
able depth below the surface of his claim. He succeeded in getting his 
neighbors and some of the business men in the village of Waterbury, in- 
terested in the matter and they began drilling for coal. A small derrick 
was built and to it was attached what they termed a "jerk-pole" drill. 
Nearly all the neighbors contributed a day or two at "jerking" the pole. 
For rods, John Snart, one of the Waterbury merchants, furnished several 
hundred pounds of iron, which S. T. Leeds joined together in his black- 


Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Fordliain. 

John McDonald. 

Geo. JV. Burster. 

Mr. and Mrs. Duanc Toorlices. 

Mr. and Mrs. Dcindorfer. 


smith shop. The steel point had been driven into the ground nearly three 
hundred feet when one evening Leeds, Dr. Miller, Joe Herring and 
George Light grew tired of the effort and between them concluded it 
would be just as well to ''strike oil" as to strike coal. The next morning 
when work at the drill was resumed the smell of kerosene was strong. 
The dirt and water brought up by the drill was so strongly impregnated 
with the oil that it could be easily seen. The excitement became great, 
and a stock company was formed to develop the "find." Some one, to 
ascertain the true value of the "well" sent some of the stuff" brought up 
by the drill to the government assay office at Chicago and received a 
reply that "if the fellows that poured oil in that hole had used crude in- 
stead of refined oil they might have carried their joke farther." That 
ended the excitement and also the drilling. It was years afterwards that 
Leeds and the other jokers told the real story ,of the "oil find" at Wa- 

John Groub's dwelling on the SE of 19 was a sod house, built after 
the custom of those primitive days. In it was held the first school meet- 
ing of the township. The Groub family still own the land first taken by 
them besides the farm upon which they now live, which includes the 
Heaton, Endicott and Curtis land in section 33. In the great blizzard of 
the winter of '88 John Groub saved the lives of all the children in the 
school which his sister, Anna, was teaching in a school house then located 
about twenty rods southeast of his house, but was in turn himself saved 
by a scream from his sister after he had become confused and lost in the 

In the early '80s a slight change in a U. S. tariff schedule caused a 
small rolling mill in a New York town to discharge its workmen and close 
its doors. At that time the attention of the whole civilized world was 
directed to the great fertile plains of the Missouri valley. The discharged 
workmen and their foreman caught the fever and a hundred of them 
came west. One evening a man driving a span of horses hitched to a 
spring wagon stopped in front of the hotel at Waterbury and asked the 
first man he saw if there was any government land vacant in that 
vicinity. The citizen who chanced to be Mr. E. S. Waterbury, replied 
that there w-as lots of it. Without asking any more questions the stranger 
drove on out upon the surrounding prairie. He wandered about over 
several miles and at length returned. "I can't see any difference between 
vacant land and that that's occupied," he remarked as he again stopped 
at the hotel. "There isn't any difference," was the answer. "You must 
get some one who is familiar with it to point it out to you." The stranger 
decided to wait until morning before searching further, and drove around 
to the livery barn, then kept by Geo. N. Price. He jumped out of the 


wagon and began to unhitch the team. "I don't know that I understand 
how to undo this gearing," he remarked as the man in charge of the 
barn came out to help take care of the horses. He had commenced by 
pulHng out the lines, taking oft the crupper, unbuckling the tugs and was 
trying to take out the back piece \Yhen the hostler came to his assistance. 
The next morning in company with a locator he renewed his search for 
vacant land. He finally succeeded in finding some land that suited him, 
and put a filing on the SW of 30 in Marlar township, taking some more 
across the line in Buffalo county. He went to work with a vigor that 
under other conditions would have insured success. For a time he did 
well. He opened a small store, established a creamery and secured a post- 
office, which was supplied by the Waterbury-Miller route, and to it his 
own name was given. He became very popular because of his sterling 
integrity and general good nature. He was active in all public enterprises 
and fond of all kinds of field sports. The old Waterbury ball nine that 
lost but one game in seven years, owed much of its success to his encour- 
agement. He was a man who had never been in school a day in his life, 
yet probably no man in the county had wader general information than 
he. Especially was he good authority on all matters concerning the Amer- 
ican tariff. The hard times compelled him to close his store and the post- 
office was abandoned for want of patrons. He moved to Wessington 
Springs, then to Artesian and finally to Rome, N. Y., where he still re- 
sides. Jerauld county never had a better citizen than J. C. Longland. the 
old-time rolling mill foreman. 

Another among the sterling men who settled Marlar township was 
Ambrose Baker. He placed his homestead filing on the S half of the NW 
and the N half of the SW of 20, adjoining Geo. Groub on the north. 
His son, Herbert, took the 160 acres directly east of him, and together 
they had one of the finest half sections in the county. This farm of Am- 
brose Baker is now owned by Walter Hyde, who has recently purchased 
the Templeton store." 

The southeast 80 of section 20 was taken as a homestead by S. T. 
Leeds, now of Wessington Springs and as such he made proof for it. 
Sam was among the first comers to the western part of Jerauld county 
and I shall have more to say of him before I am done with these western 
townships. His hearty good nature has helped many a poor discouraged 
fellow to throw off the blues. 

Then a long jump, ten miles and a half to the Waterbury postoffice, 
for it has been moved from where it was when John Groub wanted to 
buy a stamp and an envelope. On April i, 1902, it was moved three miles 
east and three quarters of a mile south to the residence of Clark \\'eth- 
erell, on the NW of 25. It is housed in a building 10 by 12 feet in size 


that is an "old timer." In 1883 a young lady named Annie Salter came 
out from Germania, Iowa, and put a homestead entry on the N\V of 30 
in Pleasant township, adjoining Clark Wetherell's farm on the east. She 
was of firmer character than most girls and went at work to make a home 
and a farm on her quarter section. She had her shanty made 10x12 and 
so strong that it could be rolled about over the prairie and not fall to 
pieces. The next thing needed was breaking and she had about 20 acres 
of that done. Thereafter she plowed and cultivated it herself. A well 
was needed and at it she went. A young lady named Inghram, a niece 
of Mrs. Wetherell, assisted by lifting the dirt out of the hole while Aliss 
Salter dug and filled the bucket. Twenty-eight feet down into the ground 
a vein of water was found. She then placed kerosene barrels, one above 
the other, for curbing, making them solid with dirt packed about them. 
The well is still there and is pointed to by the old settlers as the work 
of two slender girls but little more than twenty-one years of age. Miss 
Salter afterward sold her farm and went back to Germania, where she 
married a druggist and still resides. The shanty she sold to ^Mr. Weth- 
erell, who uses it as before stated. After the disastrous prairie fire of 
April 2, 1889, two families, Frank Smith's and another whose name I 
have not learned, found shelter for a time in this little building. Four 
postal routes now go out from this country office — one to Gann Valley, 
one to Hyde, one to Wessington Springs and one to Crow Lake. It has 
40 boxes and about 75 patrons. 

Again I mounted the wheel and started for the west side of the 
county, determined that this time I would avoid telephones and so escape 
Ibeing called in to help a "day or two" in the home office. It was in the 
middle of September and the hottest week of the year. I was again 
strongly reminded of the wisdom of the old toper at the temperance meet- 
ing. When the lecturer asked "someone" to tell him "what caused more 
misery in the world than drink" the toper yelled out "thirst." I had 
taken the road to Templeton and the first well I found after leaving the 
Springs was on section four of Media township. Harry Holmes stood by 
the pump sending a beautiful stream of clear, sparkling water — it cer- 
tainly did look beautiful that hot day — into a water trough, from which 
a span of splendid horses were leisurely drinking their fill. I followed 
their example — drinking from a cup instead of the trough — while Harry 
worked the pump. Nothing ever tasted better, for the water in that well 
is good. He took me about the place, showing me the buildings, the 
sheep, the hogs — fine Durocs — and among other things the alfalfa pas- 
ture where his hogs can almost reach maturity without grain of any kind. 
The farm contains 577 acres, all inclosed with a woven wire fence, 45 
inches high and all in section 4. The sheep-barn is made of galvanized 


iron with i6 foot posts and arranged for a hay stack in the center. The 
other buildings are in good repair, some of them new and all newly 
painted. The farm is owned by Frank McGuire of Defiance, Iowa. 

Two miles west of the farm upon which Harry Holmes' resides the 
four townships, Media, Pleasant, Harmony and Chery corner. When I 
reached this point I stopped and made a few notes of 25 years ago. At 
that time the government surveyor had filed his plats of ]Media and 
Chery townships and they had been published in the U. S. land office at 
Mitchell, but Harmony and Pleasant were then known as misurveyed 
lands, though the engineers were busily at work runnmg the lines. The 
townships were then only known by their numbers. Media being 107 — 65. 
Chery 107 — 65, while Pleasant and Harmony were not even numbered. 
The settlers on these unsurveyed lands were simply "squatters," ready to 
move at a moment's notice when the surveyor's lines should be run. if 
they found they had made their "improvements" on the wrong quarters. 

On section 6 of Media, all four quarters had been taken. The south- 
east quarter had a very substantial farm house, where Mrs. Lydia G. 
Swatman lived, so as to be near her daughter, Mrs. J. N. Cross, who 
lived in the big two-story grout house on the NE of 7 across the section 
line south. On the NE of 6 Lydia Swatman's son, Ben, had a sod house 
and stable, but lived with his mother most of the time. Once a month 
he went to his sod house and "lived there over night." This was what 
was called "holding down" a claim and was the "custom of the country." 
Every old settler can recall instances of this kind. The sod or frame 
shanty, with a single one-sash window, through which the stove and table 
could be plainly seen. On the stove could be placed the pancake griddle, 
and on it, always, a halfbaked cake, which v/ith the dishes on the table 
would indicate that the owner had been suddenly called away and was 
liable to return at any moment. I have known instances where the half- 
baked cake would rest upon the griddle until it was removed by the mice. 
Many a settler proved up on his claim on a five-year residence who had 
not spent a month on his land in the whole time. That practice was not 
peculiar to that time nor to this country. It is done today wherever there 
is public land open to settlement and will be continued until the domain 
of Uncle Sam is all deeded to private individuals. 

But mv pencil has been running off by itself again and it's time I 
brought it back to section 6 — 107 — 65. On the SW of this section R. 
S. Vessey filed his tree claim right, then little dreaming that a quarter of 
a century later he would be the candidate of the majority party for gov- 
ernor of one of the great states of the Union. He was then mighty busy 
o-etting himself established as a settler on what was afterward marked 


on the chart as the SE of 12 — 107 — 66.' On the NW of this section, 
6 — 107 — 65, F. S. Coggshall had placed a pre-emption filing. 

To the northeast of me lay section 31 of 108 — 65, the southwest sec- 
tion of that township. On this section was settled David Paxton, Wm. 
Taubman, Geo. Homewood and J. F. Bolton, while G. S. Eddy had a 
timber culture right on the NW quarter. 

To the~ northw^est of where I stood lies one of the sections that the 
wisdom of the U. S. congress had ordered set apart for the education of 
the future generations of children that should dwell upon these great 

Upon the section lying to the southwest the northeast section of 
Pleasant township, two brothers and their brother-in-law squatted in the 
early spring of 1883, S. O. McElwain was on the SE quarter, Henry Mc- 
Elwain on the SW quarter and D. C. Hewitt on the NE quarter. These 
three made the beginning of the settlement on that portion of the un- 
surveyed land afterward known as 107 — 66 and later as Pleasant town- 
ship. On the NW quarter of this section Frank Coggshall. once county 
treasurer of Jerauld county, placed his soldiers' homestead right and there 
he lived for a number of years. When the surveyor had completed his 
work and 107 — 66 came upon the market, Henry McElwain put his filing 
on the NE of 3 and Robt. M. Hiatt took the SW of i as a homestead. 

Nearly all of section 2 was taken by squatters before it was open for 
filings. J. D. Powell got the SE quarter, A. R. Powell the SW and An- 
drew Faust, for whom Fauston was subsequently named, settled on the 
NW quarter. When the land became subject to filing F. S. Coggshall 
made a timber culture entry for the NE quarter. A few years later, in 
the stress of hard times, F. S. Coggshall was one day sitting in the door 
of his barn, talking with some of his neighbors, among whom was J. D. 
Powell, afterward auditor for two terms, when Coggshall remarked, "I 
tell you boys, I am broke, busted. The $7000 I brought to this county is 
gone and I haven't a cent. J. D. buy that tree claim over there." "Good 
Lord, Frank!" remarked Powell, 'T could not raise a cent, if it would 
buy the township." "Yes you can," said Coggshall. "Give me four 
hundred dollars for it, it's the best quarter in the township. Get me $100 
down and pay the balance when you can." J. D. borrowed the $100 and 
soon after paid the remainder. Coggshall moved away and Powell stayed. 
Today Powell owns the S half and the NE quarter of 2, every acre of 
which is cheap at $35. The Coggshall homestead, where the above con- 
versation occurred, is now owned by Harry Thompson, who came here 
last March from Merrill. Iowa. In these later days things are different. 
Prices are better, and crops arc better. It almost seems as though good 
])rices make better crops. 


The early settlers on sectioa 3 were Henry McElwain, as before men- 
tioned, on the NE quarter, A. G. Swanson on the SE, Perry Eddy on the 
SW and S. F. Huntley on the NW. The latter was a squatter, building 
his sod house and stable and establishing his residence there before the 
land was subject to filing. After living the required length of time on 
this quarter he moved across the township line to his soldiers' homestead 
on the SE of 33 — 108 — 66. There the caller will find him today the same 
true, cultured gentleman that lived in the sod shanty on the "unserveyed." 

Henry McElwain lives in Wessington Springs, doing as much for the 
convenience of the people as any man in the town. Perry Eddy has gone 
back to Illinois, but Andrew Swanson yet remains on the SE of 3. He 
has prospered well with the passing years and is contented. 

After passing the NW of 3, T turned southwest across Geo. Strong's 
pre-emption, the NE of 4, and trundled along until I reached the resi- 
dence of Samuel Marlenee, on the SW of 4, tired and thirsty. My ! but 
Sam has a good well. 

Probably no one man in Jerauld county has been more essential to its 
improvement, or development, than Sam Marlenee. I venture to say that 
the only court house in the state that had not one penny of graft to any- 
body, in its construction, was built by him, by contract, on the hill in Wes- 
sington Springs. A more capable or honest carpenter never swung a 
hammer or shoved a jack plane. Possessed of a high degree of mechanical 
skill his interest in his work has often led him to do the work so well that 
the profits of the job were absorbed in the extra work that he did. In 
one instance, the building of C. W. Lane's house in Wessington Springs, 
Mr. Lane voluntarily added $100 so that Mr. Marlanee should not really 
lose money on the work. One would think that the old verse had been 
his motto : 

"In the ancient days of art 

The builders wrought with extreme care, 
Each minute and unseen part 

For the gods see everywhere." 

He has put up more buildings in the county than any other two car- 
penters in it, yet today he is comparatively a poor man. His indepen- 
dence of spirit and speech has made life on the farm peculiar fascinating 
to him. He lives today among the hills on the SW of 4 — 107 — 66, where 
he homesteaded in 1884. In the civil war he was twice a soldier and twice 
honorably discharged. Quiet and unassuming, yet the Rock of Gibraltar 
is not more firmly set in its place than he in his opinion, where he thinks 
he is right. He has represented the republicans of Pleasant township and 
been a member of more conventions than any other man in the county. 

394 . 

On section five of Pleasant township which I passed on the south Hne 
the early settlers were George Knieriem, on the NW quarter, a brother 
of Henry Knieriem of Franklin. George came fom Germany after he 
became of age, but had learned to speak English so perfectly that only 
his name would cause one to suspect that he was of foreign birth. He 
was in the artillery with Sherman and delighted in telling of a duel be- 
tween one gun of his battery and a Confederate field^ piece on Kenesaw 
mountain. He is now somewhere on the Pacific coast. 

The NE of 5 was taken by Kate J. Knieriem, a sister of George and 
the SW by Sam Marlenee as a tree claim. 

The SE quarter of five was taken by J. J. Snyder, who married a 
daughter of Hiram Blowers, of Wessington Springs. He stammered 
badly in his speech. At one time he entered the office of the True Re- 
publican in the county seat and after many gutteral sounds and facial 
contortions said something to George Havens, one of the printers. 
Havens was afflicted with stammering as badly as Snyder and when ex- 
cited could scarcely speak a word. His first thought w^as that Snyder was 
niaking fun of his impediment and instantly became very angry. In his 
attempt to reply he "went Snyder one better." Snyder thought he was 
being mimicked and was furious with rage before Havens had said a 
word. Blosser, the editor, became so convulsed with laughter at the 
ludicrous scene that he was hardly able to interfere. Both Havens and 
Snyder were large men and an encounter between them would not onl}- 
have made "pi," but would have turned the whole office into a "hell-box." 

The NE of 6 is where Herman Hinners took a quarter section of land 
on the public domain. He now lives on a farm near Humbolt. Iowa. 

South of Hinners, on the SE of 6. lived Wm. Toaz, another early set- 
tler who succumbed to the hard times and left the state. He now lives 
at Grand Ledge, Mich. , 

. Down in the valley west of the Toaz quarter I found the residence of 
John Youtcey. The beginning of this farm was made by a man named 
jNIcConnell, who was told about a deep water hole, now dry, near where 
the buildings are located, by the old stage driver, who in those days car- 
ried the mail from Mitchell to Ft. Thompson. The trail led through this 
valley and McConnell rode up from Mitchell to look at the place. It 
looked like an ideal place for a ranch. Plenty of water, unlimited range 
for then there was no one west of the hills, and the high knolls to the 
north and west to keep off the severe winds of winter. McConnell 
squatted there in the spring of 1882 and began his preparations for 
ranching, laying claim to a strip a mile in length. When the surveyors 
stalked off the country this claim proved to be the east half of the west 
of section 6. For some reason McConnell seems to have grown tired of 


his project and sold what right he had to a young carpenter named John 
iMurphy, who placed his homestead filing there when the land became sub- 
ject to entry. Afterwards James Foster purchased this land of Murphy, 
added more to it, put up good ranch buildings and for several years made 
money out of it as a cattle ranch. He now lives at Ridgeway, Mich. 

When I had crossed the west line of section 6, of Pleasant, I was on 
the south side of i in Crow. David King on the XE quarter and W. W. 
King on the SE quarter, obtained the east half of this section from the 
government. The SW was a timber culture entry held by Jas. Fogen. 

The NW of I in Crow township was held as a homestead by Miss 
Minnie Stanley, now Mrs. S. W. Boyd, of Pleasant. She is one of the 
many women who have done their full share in the upbuilding and devel- 
opment of Jerauld county. The claims were held, the schools were taught, 
churches and Sunday schools kept going, mainly by their unceasing and 
untiring efforts. Many a man who came through the hard times tired, 
but successful, would have failed utterly in the effort but for the help he 
received from his brave and steadfast wife. 

One of my objective points in this trip was the Burger homestead in 
section 12. This farm includes the W half of the NE quarter and the E 
half of the NW quarter, and also the SE quarter which was taken as a 
tree claim. Mr. Burger has been one of the long-time residents of the 
county. This place was at one time used for school purposes, most of 
the school children being residents of this corner of the township and a 
long ways from the school house. Mr. Burger now lives in Wessington 
vSprings and the farm is occupied by J\Ir. Traylor, the school clerk of the 
township. The examinations of the records of his office was my purpose 
in coming here. The first school census of this township has not been 
preserved among the records. 

The east half of the NE of 12 was taken by Wm. Hern as a pre-emp- 
tion. The balance of the section, the SW quarter and the W half of the 
NW quarter was taken by E. D. and S. E. Herman. 

A postoffice is generally a good place to look for news so I again 
directed my course toward the Waterbury P. O. on Clark Wetherell's 
farm in 25. Clark isn't much of a gossip, but he's a jolly good fellow 
and a good deal interested in the job I have undertaken. He and his 
resolute wife are among those who can tell you from their personal ex- 
perience what was summed up in the expression "hard times in Dakota." 
But never a whine or a whimper from either, and I imagine that her up- 
per lip was a little the firmest. When the crop was short and the prices 
low Clark joined several of his neighbors in an expedition to some north- 
ern counties where crops were better and help needed. The women folks 
stayed at home and kept things in order until the men came back. 


Down in Fairchild, Wis., in 1887 there lived a man whose hobby was 
growing mangel wertzels. No one in that vicinity could raise beets as 
large as those that grew in his lot, and he was very proud of the fact. 
In that town the meat market w^as the place where people displayed any 
unusual production, and this man would, every fall, put in a conspicuous 
place in the market the largest mangel he had grown. That year Clark 
Wetherell came out to the territory to look at the NW of 25 in Crow 
township, which, without seeing he had bought of James Fogarty for 
$1000 in 1884. In a garden on the SE of 23 Capt. Vrooman had a large 
number of very large mangel wertzels — larger than was even grown by 
the man at Fairchild. Wetherell immediately formed a plan to discomfit 
his old neighbor. He took one of Vrooman's largest beets and when he 
got back to his home town he place the vegetable in the meat market. 
Shortly afterward his neighbor came around wdiere Wetherell was telling 
of the wonders of Dakota and said, "Clark, where did you get that 
mangel?" "Mangel!" exclaimed Wetherell, "that's not a mangel, that's 
a breakfast radish, I'd have brought you a mangel, but I couldn't get one 
in the door of the car." That year Wetherell homesteaded the NE of 25, 
buying a reliquishment from Wm. Austin. The N half of 25 has been his 
home ever since. 

One day in the summer of 1883, E. S. Waterbury, his son. Will, and 
a party of land seekers from one of the eastern states, were driving about 
the country in the vicinity of what was then the thriving town of Water- 
bury. About the center of section i8- — 107 — 67 they saw a claim shanty 
and went to it. It was located on the W half of the E half of the section. 
Near by was a prosperous prairie dog "town," the inhabitants of which 
barked and chattered at the intruders as they drew near. Close about the 
door of the shack, picketed with strings tied to pegs driven in the ground 
were numerous rattlesnakes. The settler, Abel Scyoc assured the visitors 
that the reptiles were harmless, but the sight was too much. The land 
seekers went back to Waterbury and the next morning started for home. 
They never came back. Mr. Scyoc was probably the first white resident 
of the township, although H. B. Farren, now of Gann Malley, established 
himself in bachelor quarters on the same section Sept. 16, 1882. Scyoc 
was from the south and an ex-confederate soldier. He proved up on his 
claim, sold it to Chas. Platner and went "back to Dixie" where he mar- 
ried and died. 

The town of Waterbury was on the west side of section 21. part in 
the NW quarter and part in the SW quarter. On the SW quarter of 29, 
near the center of the section, only a mile and a half away, was the 
rival town of Sulphur Springs. Between the sites of the two towns and 


Dan. C. Needham. 

Joseph Ponsford. 

Mr. and Mrs. Isaiah McWilliams. 






^.!||kr\ ^^H 


OPr*^ ^^^1 


/. M. Corbin. Mr. and Mrs. 0. F. Kelogg. Clayton Broi^ni. 


about equi-distant from each, is a deep valley, that, in those days, was 
a favorite camping ground for the Crow Creek Indians. 

A couple of fellows had started a saloon in Sulphur Springs and after 
running the business a few weeks had dissolved partnership and m liqui- 
dation of accounts the hotel man, Conrad, had seized a couple of barrels 
of whiskey. He placed it in a shanty down on the flat southwest of 
Sulphur Springs, on land now owned by A. G. Kayser. The whiskey 
soon disappeared but the barrels remained in the shanty for some time. 

Among the people who settled in and about Waterbury and Sulphur 
Springs were many from the eastern states who came heavily armed ready 
for combat with the savages, of whom they lived in constant dread. 

One evening in the fall of 1883 both towns were thrown into a fever 
of excitement by the news that the old chief White Ghost with about four 
hundred followers had camped in the valley between the towns. 

Waterbury and Sulphur Springs, like all towns had some young fel- 
lows who loved fun more than they feared anything. Sam Leeds, with 
one companion, whose name I have forgotten, procured some of the liquid 
assets of the defunct saloon and after dark set out for the Sioux encamp- 
ment. They found that some of the lodges had been placed on the hills 
and some in the valley. Sam and his companion seated themselves on 
the hillside in the light of some camp fires and were soon trying to con- 
verse, by words and signs, with the Indians of both sexes. The red peo- 
ple could understand but few of the English words but the sign of looking 
at the stars through a telescope was at once understood. It was not long 
until pandemonium reigned in the valley. The warriors danced and 
shouted while the squaws rolled like great balls down the side of the hill, 
laughing and shouting with glee. The noise was heard in both towns 
and the whites began immediately to get under arms and barricade the 
houses. In Waterbury, while the rumpus in the valley was at its height, 
some one fired a gun. The report at once spread through the town that 
the Indians had commenced an attack on the village. Commotion was 
supreme. Men ran shouting through the streets, while women and chil- 
dren screamed with terror. Sam Leeds and his chum, down in the val- 
ley were getting nervous. The warriors had stopped their demonstrations 
and were sitting sullenly around one of the largest fires, while the squaws 
continued their rollicking sport. Sam watched the conditions anxiously 
for some time and then turned to tell his companion he thought it was 
more seemly for them to be among their own people, but found that he 
was alone. The other fellow had evidently read Sam's thoughts and 
acted upon them. In a few moments Leeds discovered a safe way of re- 
treat toward Sulphur Springs and took advantage of it. The excitement 
in the towns and in the valley soon after subsided. In the morning the In- 


dians were gone. But one lasting result came from the escapade. 
Whether it was from the impression he made upon his savage acquain- 
tances of that night, or the effect of mature reflection, the fact remains 
that Sam Leeds is known among the Crow Creek Sioux to this day as 
"the beautiful blacksmith." 

Among other things that greatly amused, and sometimes annoyed the 
people of Waterbury in the summer of 1884, was a crane caught by 
Will Dunlap. The bird soon became a general pet and went every where. 
No door was left open that he did not enter. No house, church, or place 
of business, was safe from his intrusion. Guests at the hotel table were 
often startled to see the long bill of the crane come sliding into their 
plates and taking away some morsel that suited the fancy of the bird. 

A young man came out from Ohio, armed with all the weapons of 
war to fight Indians and incidentally shoot buffalo and deer. After be- 
coming thoroughly disgusted with a country in which he could stand no 
chance of satisfying the cravings of his ambition he traded his beautiful- 
rifle to Dunlap for the pet crane and took it back to the Buckeye state. 

I spent nearly two weeks with Will Waterbury at his residence on the 
old townsite, going over with him the days when the ground upon which 
he lives had the largest town in the two counties of Jerauld and Buffalo. 
He kindly furnished me with a few copies of the newspapers published 
in Waterbury in 1885. From one of them the "American Home," pub- 
lished by M. B. McNeil, under date of January 6th, 1885. I copy the 
following item concerning the neighboring town : 

"Sulphur Springs has no land mark now. The old hotel was burned 
last Wednesday. The building was owned by Chas. Conrad and was in- 
sured, though if for enough to cover the loss we do not know. It was 
occupied by Mr. Wheeler's family, who lost all of the clothing and furni- 
ture. The furniture was insured for about $300." 

From the same paper of date February 3, 1885, I quote this: 


Frank P. Blair, Post No. 46, Department of Dakota, G. A. R. : Do 
hereby tender their thanks to Comrade Stevens, Mr. H. E. Rex, Mr. 
Wm. Dunlap and ^liss Minnie Waterbury for their kind assistance during 
our first annual camp-fire. A. E. White, Com. ; W. A. Rex, Adj." 

Sections 28 and 29 dip down into the valley of the east branch of 
Crow Creek, while 30 and 31 are almost wholly in the valley of the main 
stream. The SE of 29 was obtained from the government by U. E. Babb, 
who was one of the prominent citizens of the township. Near the south- 
east corner of this quarter the county has constructed across this branch 


of the creek one of the most expensive bridges in the county. It is used 
but little, and in fact, it is unsafe for a heavy team. The planks are rot- 
ted and badly broken and any attempt to take a loaded wagon over it 
would be to invite the disaster that would almost certainly follow. At 
the time it was built it was the only steel bridge in the county. The abut- 
ments of stone were built by Pat Brady, a carpenter, then living in Wes- 
sington Springs, and are apparently as solid as they were when placed 
there fifteen years ago. When built it was a necessity for the people of 
the southwest part of the county who did their trading at the town of 
Waterbury. Now the roads on both sides of the valley have been so 
badly washed by the heavy rains of the past few years as to be almost 
impassible for anything more cumbersome than a bicycle. The railroad 
station at Wessington Springs, however, has changed the line of travel 
so that this now remote bridge is used but little. This condition will not 
be for long, I think, for the railroad so confidently expected and so long 
looked for by the people of Waterbury and Sulphur Springs will yet 
traverse Crow township and the engine will whistle for Waterbury sta- 
tion. But no one should get excited about it, for all will have plenty of 
time to get out of the way. 

Across the creek, south, lie sections 32 and 33, both owned by A. G. 
Kayser, whose ranch of 3000 acres includes also the S half and NW 
quarter of 34, the E half of 31, all of 29 and the S half of 28. I followed 
down the stream across 29, looking in every pool for ducks. Just be- 
fore entering the big valley of Crow Creek I stopped. Of^ to the right 
was the big sulphur spring, and up on the point of hills above it the site 
of the town of that name. The spring, the hills and a few cellar holes 
are there yet. This half section, the west half of 29, was taken as a pre- 
emption and homestead by John R. Miller, who located the town and 
cemetery on it. For some time he masqueraded under the name of Scott, 
and none of the settlers knew his real name until he advertised in the 
Sulphur Springs newspapers that he would make proof for his land. I 
went on west to the corner section. Here they built school house No. 3, 
when the township was organized for school purposes and named in 1884. 
It was the home at one time of the largest school in the county. The first 
teacher in this building was Miss Minnie Stanley, now Mrs. S. W. Boyd, 
of Pleasant township, and among her pupils was Miss Dunham, now 
Mrs. J. L. Coram, of the Oliver hotel in Wessington Springs. They two 
are all that remain in the county to represent that term of the Sulphur 
Springs school. 

Across the creek from where I stood, but near the location of the old 
scholl house is the home of A. G. Kayser, on the northeast corner of the 
NE of 31. Mr. Kayser came to this farm from Parkston, S. D.. about 


three years ago and now is the owner of one of the best cattle ranches m 
the county. The quarter upon which the ranch buildings are placed passed 
into the possession of several different persons before the government 
finally parted with the title. Geo. Gilbert, Frank Rogers, Swartwout and 
a man named Hubbard, held it^ each in turn, until the latter made final 
proof for it and sold it to Herman, who made up the ranch nearly as it 
is now. Up to the time Herman purchased it this quarter had remained 
practically unimproved. He came out from Mason City, Iowa, to go 
into the business of raising cattle, his first move was to get a house to 
live in. Over on the hill in 29 was the foundation of the old Sulphur 
Springs hotel, much as it was when that building was partially destroyed 
by the fire in the early part of 1885. The stone from this spot were taken 
to the site selected for the new farm house and placed in a wall where 
they still remain. The next move was for a superstructure. The first 
real frame house built in that part of the township was still standing 
where Frank Rogers built it, on the SE of 28. This was transported 
bodily and placed on the wall, where it forms the east part of the house in 
which Mr. Kayser lives. What now constitutes the east wing of the 
cattle shed was also brought from the Rogers place. When the Glen 
creamery went out of business and was sold the ice house was brought to 
the Kayser ranch, where it is doing service as a granary. 

South of the Kayser house, but a part of the ranch, is SE of 31, the 
old Chas. Conrad pre-emption. He figured for some time as landlord of 
the Sulphur Springs, hotel. 

In the spring of 1883, Chas. Marvin came to Dakota Territory from 
Bremer county, Iowa, to "look around". By the time he reached Mitchell 
he was so well pleased with the appearance of the country that he made 
a homestead entry for the NW of 18 — 106 — 67, now Logan township. 
In the fall of that year he came out again and built a claim shanty and 
established his residence. Early the next spring he moved his family out 
from Iowa and began in earnest the life of a frontiersman on the plains. 
He still owns the land upon which he placed his first filing, although he 
has changed his dwelling place to the SE of 6 in the same township. He 
now owns the S half and NE quarter of 6 and the NE of 7, making 800 
acres of as good land as any one could wish. It has not been all "smooth 
sailing" for him, however. In the blizzard of 1888 he lost all the cattle 
he had and eleven years later, in 1899, his house on the place where he 
now lives was destroyed by fire. Yet, for all that, he has prospered. 

No man in the county is better or more favorably known than Joe 
Ponsford. His land holdings includes the N half of 30, the east half of 
19. the west half of 31 and the NE of 17. One of the 1883 settlers he still 
retains his residence in Crow township on the farm with which he has been 


identified for over a quarter of a centuiy. In fact, he was the only one 
of those who took government land in Crow township in "83 to vote there 
at the last election, Will Waterbury being the only other person who was 
a resident of that township twenty-five years ago to vote at the election 
of 1908. 

One morning in October, I set out from W. E. Waterbury's for a run 
down through Logan. The old road along which E. S. Waterbury and 
his son, Tom, groped and floundered on the evening of the great blizzard 
in 1888, is now fenced off and no one travels it. So I took another road 
through the same pasture and reached the highway on the north line of 
28 where A. E. McCall, with his steam thresher, was shelling out the 
tremendous crop of wheat and flax that had been grown on the old Dan 
Waterbury claim, the NW of 28, now owned by Gotlobb Krueger. The 
machine was doing good work and both McCall and Krueger wore satis- 
fied smiles that were Taft-like in their expressiveness. Krueger sold his 
flax crop for a little over a thousand dollars, for which he received a 
check before he had drawn more than a sample to market. He declared 
he would never do that again, for he was deprived of the pleasure of re- 
ceiving the money when he dumped a load into the bin at the elevator. 

The road on the section line was ideal for wheeling and the spin down 
to Waterbury P. O. was a delightful one. After chatting a few mirut:'s 
with the genial P. M., I headed south. I soon crossed the extreme north 
line reached by the prairie fine on the 28th of April 99. The change of 
wind that sent the flames into Main's buildings and wiped out the old 
town of Waterbury turned the fire southeast at this point anil saA'cd liie 
homes of Clark Wetherell, Capt. Vrooman and several others that I'ty 
directly north of it. Had it reached the Wetherell farm it would, in all 
probability, have destroyed a number of buildings that are associated with 
the early settlement of that vicinity. Wetherell has gathered ^ip quiie a 
nu!i-.l,er of the old landmarks and preserved them. These old buildings 
wiiich Clark has gathered into a really comfortable home have a story, in 
the aggregate that is worth telling. 

The north half of the house was brought by Ed and Dan W^aterbury 
from Pole, 111., r'nd probalby has more white oak, ash. and hemlock' in 
it than any other iiouse in the country. . That lumber was cut in the 
woods near Polo, sawed into boards and dimensipn stuff, stored av ay in 
a dry place and seasoned for about fifteen years and then shipped to Kini- 
ball, S. D., by vad and hauled by wagon to Waterbur}-, where it was th.e 
first building erected on the townsite. The south h:^lf of Wetherell's 
house was built by S. T. Leeds for a residence in the town of Waterbury 
in 1884.. He sold it to Harley Barnum, now mail carrier at Crow Lake, 
who moved it to the NE of 30 in Pleasant township, to use in "holding 


down" ills hoinestead. He kept it there five or six years and then sold 
the building to George Wicks, who took it to his homestead on the XE 
of 35 in Crow township. Wicks lived in the house, which seems but little 
the -Nvorse for its travels, seven years. About 1902 Wetherell purchased 
the claim shanty from Wicks and gave it a permanent location by the 
side of the Waterbury building. Wetherell's barn, a good substantial 
structure, is made of the lumber once contained in one of the two-story 
buildings in Waterbury. The chicken house was at one time a barn on 
one of the farms in Crow township, but whose I have forgotten. 

On the SW of .25, where K. Kelley once had a tree claim, John Wicks 
now has a good farm and farm house. He also has the SE af 26 across 
the road. 

The SW of 26 is a part of the farm of Geo. W. King and in the '80s 
was owned by E. J. Gray. He also has the SE of 2^, which was "proved 
up" by Mittie G. Kellogg, and the NE of 34, where John Plank had his 
homestead. Mr. King has been in Jerauld county since 1883. His whole 
time of residence here has been in Pleasant and Crow townships. The 
NW of 31 in Pleasant was his pre-emption and the NW of the same sec- 
tion was his tree claim. He moved onto his present farm in Crow in 1894 
and has prospered as have all the others in that part of the county, who 
came through the hard times and hung on. 

On the NE of 35 of Crow township Geo. Wicks made a homestead 
entry in 189 — . This quarter had been held by E. J. Gray as a tree claim, 
but being abandoned Geo. contested Gray's entry and made it his home. 
It is a fine quarter and what makes it more attractive is the neat and trim 
condition of the grounds about the house. Xo city lawai shows greater 
care. George is preparing to erect a large barn and has had a good deal 
of trouble to get the stone for the foundation, for the reason that "nigger 
heads" are not common in that vicinity. 

At the northwest corner of 35, I turned south, ran along the west 
side of that quarter, once held by C. E. Lucas, and past the SW of 35 
with the old Xorin quarter in the distance, past the spot where Lyme 
Goodrich had his residence and which was the first place at which Solo- 
mon stopped after killing Rohbe. The Goodrich quarter is now owned by 
Harvey King, who has been living there during the last two years. From 
the King house the Combs hill is in plain sight. 

I entered Logan township on the line between sections 2 and 3. the 
old Combs & Harris ranch on the east, now owned by Henry P. Will and 
Joseph O'Brien, and the August Johnson pre-emption, of 20 years ago, 
on the west. Ahead of me on the SE of 3, I could see the home of Z. 
P. De Forest, or De La Fray, which was the name of his Hugenot an- 
cestors in France, and I dismounted at his door just in time for dinner. 


Pie is one of the earliest of the early settlers in Logan township. While 
eating the midday meal he gave me considerable information about the 
early settlement of Logan, and incidentally something of the story of his 
life and of the interesting history of his family. The De La Frays, like 
many other Hugenot families, escaped the massacre of St. Bartholomew, 
by changing their names and succeeded in escaping to America. Here 
they assumed the English form of the name which is the one by which 
their descendant in Logan township is known. Z. P. De Forest, ex- 
druggist and ex-telegraph operator, lives alone on the land he obtained 
from the government 25 years ago. In my ^ two hours visit with him he 
made no boast of his ancestry, yet the easily correct form of his speetch 
was proof positive of the gentility and refinement of the family of De 
Forest. A man living so long alone will certainly drop into the forms 
of speech of the people by whom he was surrounded in his childhood. 
Yet during our whole conversation I did not detect one ungrammatical 

From De Forest's place I went over to the Combs hill to look about 
the spot that was the center of so much excitement in November, 1885. 
The buildings are all gone, and nothing but the cellar hole and tall weeds 
tell where the house, barns and corrals were located. After climbing the 
hill and looking about the premises I walked out to the old trail leading 
across country from Waterbury to Crow Lake, and along which Solomon 
rode when he went to surrender himself to the authorities. 

A. E. Hanebuth, now of Wessington Springs, was one of the early 
settlers of the township and for many years had his residence on the S\\ 
of I. The farm is now occupied by Chas. Segar, who was busy putting 
lip hay in the vicinity of Combs hill. 

A mile south of the Hanebuth farm is the farm home of D. B. Pad- 
dock, for several years one of the commissioners of the county. The 
Green Mountain school house was located on this farm and in it one of 
the first Sunday schools of the township was held. The farm is now 
owned by J. F. Jones, who purchased it of Mr. Paddock a short time be- 
fore he was killed. 

The school records of Logan township having been destroyed by fire 
at the time Chas. Marvin's house was burned, but little could be gathered 
concerning the township schools. The data of the school organization, 
and of what occurred in the early years, I will have to get from the county 
archives, and from the memory of the settlers of that time. 

Mr. Jones' farm includes the NW of T2. Freeman Paddock's claim. 
the SW of 12, D. P>. Paddock's homestead, and the SE of 11. where John 
Sleighter had his pre-em]ition right in the '80s. 


Geo. H. YoiiJig. 

Mrs. D. A. Hall. 

Mr. and Mrs. E. K. Rohcson. Mr. and Mrs. JJ'. H. Robeson. 


From the Jones residence I took an "angling" road southwest across 
section 14, crossing Mrs. Wheelock's claim, the NE quarter, August 
f3uckholtz' homestead and timber culture claims on the SE and SW quar- 
ters and Andrew Wilson's homestead on the NW quarter. 

On this NW of 14 Andrew Wilson performed a feat that was one of 
the most remarkable things accomplished in those early days. In his 
effort to get water on his claim he dug a well 155 feet deep, doing all 
the digging with a shovel, while his wife and the girls drew the dirt to 
the surface with a common windlass. He got good water and plenty of it. 

Across the section line west, on the NE of 15 lived H. A. Robinson, 
at one time a merchant of Lyndale. His son, Roy, was the first white 
child born in Logan township. 

After crossing section 14, I walked along the north line of 22 for one 
of my bicycle tires had sprung a leak, until I reached the home of An- 
drew Pflaum on the NE quarter. Here, since the spring of 1884. has 
lived this veteran of the Civil war, or what is left of him — he lost one 
arm in the fight at Champion Hill. The loss of his arm was the second 
wound received that day. The same grit that kept him in the firing line 
as a soldier has served him in good stead as a settler. He has endured 
drought, hot winds and prairie fires in the years gone by, but he can now 
look with pride about him at his pleasant, comfortable home and sharing 
the credit with his wife who has been his true helper, say "mother, it 
paid us to stay." He is not only proud of his home, but he is proud of 
his family, and well he may be. They have not only been successful in 
what they have undertaken, but in all the years they toiled together in the 
prairie home, they never failed him — not once. 

I passed the night wath Andrew Pflaum and the next morning took 
the road west through the pasture to where John Boeson lives on the 
NE of 21. He is clerk of the civil township, but like the school clerk, 
his records are not old, for the fire that burned Mr. Dykeman's house a 
few years ago destroyed the township books. This NE of 21 was taken 
by Squire Atkins in April, 1883, and was his residence until he died a 
few years later. It is now owned by John Wicks, who also owns the SE 
quarter of the same section. 

John Wicks w^as one of the early settlers in that township, holding the 
west half of 22 as a homestead and tree claim. Mr. Wicks was for a 
number of years closely identified with the schools of Logan township, 
and the county. An account of his experience with his school through the 
night of the great blizzard, will form a chapter in the history of the 

From Boeson's residence I ran south to section 27. On the N\\' of 
this section was located what was known in the old times as the Pleasant 


Hill school house. In it Sunday school and church services were held 
twenty years ago. 

On this same quarter, the NW of 27, is located the Pleasant Hill 
cemetery. This section was considerably cut up by the early settlers who 
took it from the government. John C. Ferris had a 160 acres out of the 
center of the north half, taking the two center eighties running north and 
south. The east half of the NE quarter was taken by Henry Krum- 
vaed, who is now a member of the Omaha police force. The NE quar- 
ter of the SE quarter of this section was taken by Henry Geffiki, who 
had a blacksmith shop here and did work for a large circle of settlers. 
The SE quarter of the SE quarter was owned in the '80s by Henry P. 
Will, who for years has been one of the most successful ranchmen of the 
county. The west half of the SE quarter and the east half of the SW 
c[uarter were a tree claim whose holder's name is not on the chart that I 
have, while the west half of the west half was a claim held by H. A. 

Near the north line of the section and on the mile long strip held by 
Mr. Frick, is the cemetery. It is a beautiful spot and for a country 
churchyard is well kept, though I can see no reason why people who live 
in the country should not take as great care of the little plat of earth 
where their friends are at rest as people in the towns or cities. But may- 
be the beautifying of a grave yard has nothing of love for the departed 
in it and is only a matter of vanity like the parks. However it is, there are 
several cemeteries in the county that should receive attention. In this 
acre are ten graves without headstones and eight with headstones. One 
stone bears this inscription: "Mary Carrol Frick, born Aug. 20th, 1809. 
died June 30th, 1894.'' A span of life that endured while civilization was 
crossing a hemisphere. In that time the arts and sciences had advanced 
more than in all the six thousand years gone before; in that time one 
race of men was destroyed and another made free. The little plat of 
ground is fenced and well protected from prairie fires. 

At the NE corner of 27, I turned south and had a nice run down to- 
ward one of the most pleasant valleys I ever saw. The road was good 
and the weather fine. Off to the left was the house of Peter Schleder, 
to the right lay the old time residence of H. A. Frick. I turned another 
corner, ran down to where the creamery once stood, the buildings of 
which are now scattered over the township, and entering what is some- 
times called "Buttermilk Street," I was at Glen, really the loveliest spot 
it has been my good luck to see in the state. 

Glen is certainly a beautiful place. Why it is more lovely than other 
places or what makes it so, I can not tell. The grass is no greener, the 
soil no better, the crops no more abundant, the sun no brighter, the hills 


no higher, nor the valley any smoother, yet all these things are combined 
in such a way that one can not help saying ''delightful." Some day when 
the railroad reaches it, tired men and women will go there to lounge in 
the shade, fish in the pools and rest. 

At Glen there is a spacious town hall, but no town ; a postmaster, but 
no post office, an R. F. D., but when I was there the carrier had not been 
seen for three days. 

Glen, in a mercantile sence, and as known to the U. S. Postoffice De- 
partment, is one acre in size, located in the northeast corner of the SE of 
33 and owned by William Barker. 

In 1893 the people in that vicinity petitioned the government for a 
postoffice. The request was granted and they were told to select a name 
for the new office. Dift"erent persons handed in names to H. A. Frick, 
the new postmaster, and all the suggestions were forwarded to Washing- 
ton, where the name Glen, which had been suggested by Harry Frick, 
now a druggist at Wessington Springs, was adopted by the department. 
The postoffice was kept in Mr. Frick's residence until the next year and 
then it was moved into Grandma Frick's house, across the line on sec- 
tion 34. This old landmark is now used as a chicken house on the Cable 

The name Glen followed the postoffice as it was moved from one 
building to another, until in February, 1908, when, the postoffice being 
suspended, the name became attached to the store in which the office had 
been kept. Mr. Barker's store and residence is now Glen. The building 
is a commodious one and the store room well .stocked with such goods as 
are liable to be wanted in rural communities. Outside of his store Mr. 
Barker amuses himself with thoroughbred chickens, of which he is a 
fancier. The breeds that have attracted his attention for some time are 
the Ringlet Barred Plymouth Rock and the Rhode Island Reds. He has 
attended a number of South Dakota poultry shows and never failed to 
have his birds decorated. He expects to attend the Mitchell show as an 
exhibitor this winter. Near the poultry yards and doing duty as a granary 
is an old claim shanty, once owned by Frank Rogers. 

A good deal of the land about Glen is included in a ranch owned by 
Mr. Cable of Hudson, Lincoln county, S. D. The ranch is occupied by 
Mr. D. B. Orear, a cultured gentlemna of extensive information. One 
of the attractive features of this ranch is the great spring that flows into 
a walled room at the foot of a gravel hill. The water is cool and free 
from everything objectionable, the supply would be sufficient for an army. 

A half mile east of Glen lives Peter Schleder, who has a splendid 
farm of 520 acres, most of which is in section 34. Years ago this land 
was owned by E. R. Burgess. Mr. S. came on to this farm from Aurora 


county in 1894 and has added to the imporvements until he now owns one 
of the best in the township. 

I enjoyed Mr. Orear's hospitaHty for the night and the next morning 
started west from Glen. The section line between 33 and 28 has been 
vacated as a highway, because it would require three bridges in one mile 
to make it passable. The road has been located on the half section line in 
SS, where but one bridge would be required and that one has not been 
built. The only means of crossing this branch of Smith creek on this 
road is a great pile of large and small stones thrown into it and over 
which people can pass without getting into the mud. The crossing is 
dangerous and but little used, the travel being around by the county line 
in preference to the risk of driving over the stone crossing. These people 
have a right to complain of the neglect of the county in not providing 
them with the one bridge over the creek. 

A mile west of Glen in section 32 is Mike Liesh's farm residence. The 
farm includes 800 acres, a part of which is in Brule county. Mr. Liesch 
lives in Kimball but he holds onto this land, a part of which he has 
owned a quarter of a century. I have seen many farms sold for $100 
per acre that were not as good. 

Turning north from the Liesch place I ran north to the old Byers 
farm to which has been added the NW of 32, the S half of 31 and the 
E half of 30. A branch of Smith creek forms a chain of pools across the 
NE of 32 where Joseph Byers had his buildings. It was while trying to 
water his cattle at one of these pools that Mr. Byers got lost and perished 
in the great blizzard of 1888. The farm now comprising 960 acres is 
owned by a man in Sioux Falls, but is occupied by Louis Range, who 
moved here from Winnebago county, Iowa, in the spring of 1907. 

From the residence of Louis Range I took the road west to the NW 
corner of section 32 just to look at the lands where the early settlers 
lived. H. H. Moulton took from the government two claims in the south 
half of 29, each a mile long. The old shanty, vacant and deserted, stands 
on the southwest quarter of the section. The only building west of the 
Moulton shanty in this county, that is in use is on the NW corner of 2,2. 
I leaned the wheel against the fence and went in to look at it. Some 
school room furniture was lying on the floor, so arranged to form a bin 
in one corner of the building. A part of the furniture was held in place 
as part of the bin by the heating stove that was also lying on the floor. 
The door was kept shut by the bin which was partly filled with wheat. 
The window glass and sash were broken and gone, the birds were making 
good use of the room as a haven of "roost." It was the old Dan Sleigter 
school house of 20 years ago. It reminded me of the story of the wan- 
dering Indian, who said that it was not he that was lost, 'twas his wig- 


warn. It would cost more to repair it than to build a new one and it will 
probably never again be used for school purposes. It was first placed on 
section 17 but has moved about since then until the land upon which it 
was finally located became a part of the great pasture in which the build- 
ing is now situated, and it seemingly has been forgotten as a school 
house. The wanderings of Logan township school houses will be given 
next week. 

The NW of 32, the quarter on which the old school house is located, 
was obtained from the government by Ira Ellis, who afterward drove the 
mail stage between Waterbury and Wessington Springs. 

A number of the quarter sections of land in the southern part of 
Logan township, were settled upon by railroad men from Amboy, 111., 
who came to the territory in 1883. Among them was H. H. Moulton, 
who for 35 years had been a clerk in the Illinois Central freight office at 
Amboy. He was accompanied by his daughters, Helen, Florence and 
Lizzie, each of whom made the required filings and residence. Mr. 
Aloulton obtained the SW of 29, while Florence took the east half of that 
section. Lizzie Moulton placed a filing on the south half of 28 and Helen 
on the NW of the same section. 

Wm. Hale was a conductor on the Illinois Central. He also lived at 
Amboy, but made a tree claim entry for the NW of 31. 

For the NE of 31, Ed Coalman, a baggage-master on the C. B. & 
O., at Amboy, made a pre-emption filing and "lived" on it the required 
number of times to make proof. 

Timothy Chase, also a railroad man from Amboy, got the NE of 30. 

Ed Blakesly and J\I. Butterfield, both Illinois Central conductors and 
W. H. Fox, conductor on the C. B. & O.. got the west half and the SE 
of 19, while W. Patten, another railroad man, all from Amboy, filed on 
the SE of 17. 

John Rogers, who had the NW of 30, was yardmaster for the Illinois 
Central at Amboy. This claim was finally purchased by ]\Irs. Dykeman, 
now i\Irs. Barker of Glen, who made proof for it and still holds the title. 

None of these railroad men had anything to do with the subsequent 
development of the township. They were simply claim holders who came 
out from Amboy and "lived"' once in thirty days or once in six months 
according to the filing they had on the land and after making proof 
abandoned the country entirely. The land laws of the L\ S. at that time 
provided that the holder of a pre-emption claim should not be absent 
from his land longer than 30 days at one time and a homesteader must 
not be absent more than six months in succession. 

These uncertain settlers caused a good deal of trouble in after years 
in ^retting the school houses located so as to be most convenient for the 


actual settlers. Logan township was probably bothered more than any 
other township in the county. The itinerary of the school buildings of 
this community, if the term may be properly applied to a building, may 
be of interest to later settlers. 

School house No. i, known as the "Green Mountain" school house 
was built on section 12 and never moved but the others had a roving 

School house No. 2 was built on the south line of the SW of 17. 
Draw a line on the township plat from that point to the center of the 
east line of the SE of 6, then to the center of the NW of 9, from there 
to the northwest corner of the NW of 32 and you have the line of travel 
given to the house. 

Then draw another line from the center of the north line of the NW 
of 27 to the center of the west line of the NW of 15, thence to the center 
of the south line of the SE of 21 and you have the course followed by 
school house No. 3. 

No. 4 is the old Sulphur Springs school house purchased in 1899 of 
Crow township. Draw a line from the southwest corner of 29 in Crow 
township to the center of the south line of the SW of 27 in Logan, then 
east 80 rods to the center of the north line of 34 and you will have the 
laughable outlines of the wanderings of these institutions up to the present 
time. Yet these removals were necessary to accommodate the changing 
settlement, and more will be made in the future or new houses built. 

From the old and deserted school house on the NW of 32, I took the 
section line north, some of the time riding but walking most of the way, 
for this road has not been traveled enough to keep the grass down. 

There was little of interest until I reached sections 18 and 17. The 
v;est half of section 18 was taken as homesteads by Eugene Rowe and 
Chas. Marvin, about the former of whom I could learn but little. The 
SE quarter was taken by some one as a tree claim. The NE of 18 was 
a pre-emption taken by James Long in April, 1883. The quarter across 
the line east was taken by A. S. Fordham, now of Wessington Springs. 
Mr. Long and Mr. Fordham were brother-in-laws, and so as a matter 
of economy they put one shanty for the two families, building it across 
the section line. The two families numbered ten persons, but they were 
getting a beginning in their new homes and anything would do, for a 
time, even though it was crowded. Wliile the shanty was being built the 
families found shelter with Hiram Woodbury down on the SW of 32. 
Probably no two families in this county saw more of sorrow and hardship 
than these two during the years that followed. 

All were full of hope and they laughed at the discomforts of their 
situation. Mr. Fordham put a timber culture entry on the SW of 17 


and his soldiers' declaratory on the SE quarter, for he was a veteran of 
the civil war. The first great sorrow came a few weeks after they were 
settled when Mrs. Long was taken suddenly ill and died on the 20th of 
July, 1883. She was buried on the hill north of the shanty. This was 
the first death in the township and spread a visible sadness over the whole 

Life was not all sorrow and trouble, however, in the new^ settlement- 
Crops and prospects were fair and three years after coming to the ter- 
ritory Miss Belle Fordham, on the 25th of April, her 17th birthday, was 
married to Frank Dykeman. This was the first marriage in the township. 
One day Hiram Woodbury, who had now obtained a filing on the SE 
of 7, came to the shanty on 17 and they took him in. He was suffering 
from inflammatory rheumatism and the people he had sheltered while 
they were building their new^ home several years before, now cared for 
> him in his extremity. All that tender care and nursing could do for him. 
was done, but his malady was fatal and in a couple of weeks he died. 

The period of hot winds and hard times came and struck the Ford- 
hams as hard as any. The crops were poor and the prices low, but they 
stayed. At length the tide turned, with better prices came better crops. 
The cattle had increased in number and by 1899 Mr. Fordham and his 
wife determined to leave their farm and move to Kimball, where they 
could take life a little easier. 

On the morning of the 28th of April Mrs. Fordham and her daughter, 
. Mrs. Dykeman, started out from Kimball to drive to the farm. A terrific 
wind was blowing from the south and the air was full of dust and debri 
blown up from the prairie. They had driven but a few miles w^hen they 
saw a dense volume of smoke ahead of them. Some one, heedless of the 
damage that might be done by a fire driven by such a wind, had applied 
a match to a field of dry weeds. The fire soon passed beyond the limits 
of the small field and was at large in the great limitless prairie of dead 
grass. The wind was steadily widening the head fire and driving it 
straight toward the center of Logan township. The two women urged 
on the horses in the faint hope that the fire would be at least checked at 
Smith creek, then a full running stream. But the creek was no obstacle 
to the progress of the flames. 

At home on 17, Mr. Dykeman was in the house preparing the midday 
meal for himself and the children. One of the little boys rushed into the 
room shouting the alarm that a fire was coming. Mr. Dykeman hurried 
out to find a long stretch of head-fire close upon them. The house and 
stables were protected by fire-breaks, but the granary was more exposed 
and was soon in flames. The fire passed leaving the house and stable 
unharmed. Mr. Dvkeman and the children gathered near the house and 


watched the burning granary and the smoking prairie. A crackHng noise 
at the window attracted his attention and he saw that the whole inside 
of the building was in flames. Not a thing was saved from the burning 

In a short time Mrs. Dykeman and her mother drove up. Only the 
stables and the animals were left of all the fruits of their years of toil. 
Dykeman and the boys were exhausted with their efforts to fight off the 
fire- and their lungs were filled with the smoke and dust. That night 
Mr. Fordham came up from Kimball and both families took up their 
abode in the stable. 

On the third day after the fire one of the boys became seriously ill 
and soon showed unmistakable signs of scarlet fever. A move from their 
lodging place was then imperative and the two families moved over to 
the school house on the north line of 27. There a couch was fixed up 
for the sick boy, the rest of the group sleeping on the benches until bed- 
ding could be procured and more comfortable arrangements made. In a 
few days Mr. Dykeman was taken sick and it was soon evident that he, 
too, had the dread disease. Then the county health officers stepped in 
and quarantined the school house and its occupants. A. S. Fordman was 
the only man about the place able to do anything and he was suffering 
from the effects of a carbuncle on his knee upon which an operation had 
been performed a few days before. 

The cattle, among which were 28 milch cows, were at the home place 
on ]/. Twice Mr. Fordham went over and milked the entire number, 
but the milk could not be sold, and must be poured out. Mr. Andrew 
Pflaum kindly volunteered to take the animals and care for them. Ford- 
ham now gave his entire attention to the sick ones in the school house. 
The needed groceries were obtained at Mr. Frick's store at Glen. To get 
the supplies needed Fordham would go to a spot near the store where he 
could be seen and wait until some one came to the door. He then made 
his wants known and retreated to a safe distance, when the articles wanted 
had been brought out and placed where he could get them, he would pick 
them up and go back to the school house. This continued day after day. 
The sick child began slowly to recover, but the sick man was evidently 
getting worse. Then the other little boy was taken ill. On the 15th of 
May Mr. Dykeman died. S. T. Leeds. H. A. Frick, John Pflaum. August 
Miers and Dr. Smith came for the body and laid it away in Pleasant Hill 
cemetery. The boys recovered and at length the quarantine was raised, 
the bedditig and all articles used in the school house burned or fumigated, 
the building cleaned and the two old people stepped forth, destitute of all 
personal property, but rich in the consciousness that they had done their 
best. Thev still own tlie S half of 17, which is one of the many good 


tracts in Logan township. The old veteran and his wife now Hve in Wes- 
sington Springs, in a house of their own which by hard work they have 
bought and buih, Httle by httle and paid for. The house on 17 was not 

The east half of 18 has had numerous owners. One of them was 
Henry ]McElwain, now of Wessington Springs, who made substantial 
improvements. Then it passed into the hands of a man named Carlson, 
then IMahnke, then W. T. ]\IcConneIl, who last spring sold it to Mr. 
iJayne. At the time of my visit ^Ir. Bayne was hard at work getting 
moved on to the place and settled. 

The SE of 18, the SW of 17, the XW of 20 and the XE of 19 were 
all tree claims, making a square 640 acres of timber culture entries, but 
not a tree is in sight. 

On the XW of 21, adjoining the school section A. P. Pflaum, son of 
Andrew Pflaum, has resided since 1904. This was the homestead of C. 
C. jNIeyer, who made proof for it. It was swept by the prairie fire that 
destroyed so much propert}' in Logan, Crow and Pleasant townships on 
the 28th of April, 1899. A loan company foreclosed a mortgage that 
Meyers had given and which, at the time of foreclosure amounted to 
$700. Mr. Pflaum purchased it from the company for $400. Today it 
could not be bought for $3200. A new house and barn, a good well, 90 
acres in cultivation and excellent crops have placed the young man in 
comfortable circumstances. He was one of the boys that passed the night 
of January 12th, 1888, in Pleasant Hill school house with the other pupils 
of John Wicks' school. He has a vivid recollection of that storm. 

On September ist. 1906, Mr. Solomon Radke came up from Yankton 
county, S. D., and took possession of the S half of 8, which he had re- 
cently purchased of S. C. Scott, speculator, of Lyons, Iowa. The improve- 
ments are good, the buildings being located near the center of the section 
on the XW corner of the SE quarter. One hundred and forty acres are 
in cultivation, the balance is in pasture. In the early '80s the SE of this 
section was taken by W. J. Burnette as a pre-emption, and a man named 
Boyce took the SW quarter as a tree claim. X^either Burnette nor Boyce 
perfected their entries for the land they had taken in this section and 
later John Pfaff filed a homestead entry for the SE quarter and a pre- 
emption for the SW. 

From Radke's farm I rode and led the wheel alternately in a north- 
easterly direction until I was again on the old trail from Waterbury to 
Kimball. I went north between sections 4 and 5, certainly a fine country. 
The approach down the hills from the south to Crow Creek bridge is no 
better than from tlie north. At one time, when the bridge was built this 
was one of the best traveled roads of the west part of the county. It was 


the outlet for all that region to Kimball twenty-five miles south. But 
that was before the railroad came to Wessington Springs. Xow the main 
course of travel is eastward and this old thoroughfare but dimly visible in 
the rank growth of grass. At the bridge I stopped a few minutes to catch 
a mess of fish and then climbing the hill north of the bridge I rode on 
to the old townsite of W^aterbury again. I was hungry and the fish 
were fine. 

One morning in the latter part of October, I was at the Waterbury 
P. O. and finding the wind favorable, determined to take a run down into 
Crow Lake township. I followed the star route that is traversed by Jehial 
— commonly known as "Hiley" Barnum every day in the year. Numer- 
ous small tin boxes, each decorated with the name of some farmer, were 
stationed along the way. On some of them the little tin "flag"' was stand- 
ing up to notify the carrier that some mail was there for him to take. 
About 20 families have boxes on this lO-mile route, where they receive 
and deliver their letters and papers each day. 

When a great convenience is new people express their appreciation by 
saying, "thank you," but when it gets old enough to be common they 
show their sense of the "favor only by saying " — you'' when a miss accurs. 
The veteran carrier, who travels this route has for 21 years been doing 
the work that Uncle Sam requires of his servants in this line of duty. 
Yet he is only one of those who day after day, summer and winter, in 
sunshine or in storm, have traveled the bare Dakota prairies since the 
postal stations were established here so long ago. Mr. Barnum, of Crow 
Lake, Howard Pope, now retired from the service, and Mr. Spayn, who 
for years has carried the Wessington Springs-Miller mail, have each 
gone over miles enough in their work for the government, to have en- 
circled the globe a half dozen times, and all that in Jerauld and adjoining 
counties. Many other men attract far greater attention in positions more 
spectacular, and called more honorable, yet not one in ten thousand of 
them render such useful service to the public, or receive so little compen- 
sation or honorable mention as the faithful carriers who make life so 
much more pleasant in the prairie home. 

On the NE of i, in Logan township. Johanan H. Riegal, a splendid 
fellow, well known to all the early settlers of the southwest part of the 
county, settled in 1883. He remained until about 1900 and then sold out 
and went to Pennsylvania, but has not prospered by the change. The 
place is now owned by J- W. Coffin, who lives on the old C. S. Barber 
farm in Pleasant township. 

Across the road east and I was on section 6 of Crow Lake township. 
Of the first settlers of this section B. F. Drown, on the NE : Robt. Heble 
on the SE ; Joseph Gibisch on the SW and Frank Kaas on the NW, none 


are there. The land is of excellent quality but they seemed to think they 
could do better elsewhere and sold for a trifle of what the land is now 
worth. Three quarters of this section, the S half and NW quarter, are 
now owned by H. B. and J. B. Reese, two brothers who have operated 
one of the best paying farms in the county during the past four years. 
In addition to the land above mentioned they have the west half of 5 in 
Crow Lake and a few quarters across the line in Pleasant, making two 
sections in all. Of this farm the SW of 5 was taken in June, 1882, by 
C. S. Jacobs, now of Wessington Springs, who came here from his birth 
place, A'^ictor, Ontario county, N. Y. He returned to New York that 
summer, but the western fever had him and he has it yet. The next June 
he came back to the territory and filed a pre-emption on the NW of the 
same section. He built a house near the northwest corner of his pre- 
emption and began the life of a pioneer. In building the house on his 
pre-emption a few little articles dropped between the studding and were 
not noticed. This summer, in repairing the building Mr. Reese brought 
forth a Victor, (N. Y.) newspaper, dated March, 1884; a gold plated 
harness buckle and a stamping outfit. They were of interest only because 
of the length of time they had lain there. The house has been enlarged 
until it is now^ sufficiently commodious for the help required to push the 
work on so large a farm. Some idea of the work done by the present 
owners can be formed from the fact that when they took possession of 
the farm four years ago there were but 35 acres on the whole tract that 
had been in cultivation the previous year, and their first crop of small 
grain, all told, was but 390 bushels. This year they cultivated 450 acres 
of which 70 acres was planted to corn. This they were husking at the 
time of my visit and the quantity and quality w^ere excellent. The crop 
of small grain this season, as it came from the machine, was 7000 bushels. 
Three hundred acres are in pasture, where 120 head of cattle have grazed 
during the summer. Half a hundred hogs would be ready for market in 
a short time. The place. has that evidence of prosperity that makes it 
noticeable, even to a man on a wheel. H. B. Reese came here from Yank- 
ton county in 1904, while J. B. Reese was for some time the pastor of the 
Congregational church at Wessington Springs. It was during his pas- 
torate that a church was established at Fauston, in Pleasant township, 
and also in Anina township. 

1'he east lialf of section 5 was held by Joseph Gibisch and Thos. TI. 
Null. The latter Ijegan life as a Dakota pioneer on the NE of this sec- 
tion. Reading law was more congenial, however, than farming. Among 
other things that he had for amusement and profit was a dozen hens that 
he purchased from a young couple that had become homesick and were 
going back to Michigan. A few days after getting the fowls. Null took 


a dozen eggs and carried them to Waterbury. Henry Herring saw the 
eggs and inquired if they were fresh. Null replied, "very." Herring 
bought them and took them home. A few weeks afterward Herring 
again met Null in town and complained that the eggs were not good. He 
said he had set them under a hen but not one had hatched. Null replied, 
■'I couldn't help it." Null soon after sold the land and entered upon his 
career as a lawyer. Since then all farming operations have been by proxy. 

From the Reese farm I ran south, using the coaster brake most of the 
way until I reached the southwest corner of section 8. Here were two 
more mail boxes, one bearing the name of Thos. Paulson and Christ 
Sorenson, the other Christ Aistrup. 

In miaking this run I had passed the S half of 7, taken by Robt. and 
Sam Hible when the rush of settlers came in 1883, giving them, with 
SE of 6, three as good quarters of land as the "sun shines on. But like 
many others the Hibles never realized what a gold mine was lying among 
the grass roots, waiting for some one to turn it up and gather the treas- 
ure. The SE of 7 was Artel's tree claim, while the SW quarter was held 
by Anton Rendl. 

Of the men who received section 8 from the government, not one 
remains in the county. Joseph Vanous had a pre-emption on the NE 
quarter and Matt Ruppert the same on the NW. The SW of 8 was 
Reeve's tree claim. This quarter is now owned by Mr. Fagerhaug, who 
came here three years ago from near Irene, in Yankton county and pur- 
chased the ^^^ half and the SE quarter of this section. The last mentioned 
quarter was a pre-emption claim held by John Klaker. Mr. Fagerhaug 
has evidently discovered the aforesaid gold mine and is working it to 
good advantage. He is not alone in the discovery, however, for all the 
new settlers in this neighborhood seem to have made the same find. It 
is being successfully worked by Mr. I. Moen, who came in last spring 
from Yankton county and began to open up a farm on the old D. R. 
Hughes quarter, the NW of 17. Across the road west from him Mr. 
Christ Sorenson, also from Yankton county, certainly knows how to mine 
the golden stream from the black soil. All this section of country is 
rolling prairie, fertile in the extreme. The new settlers are not of the 
"get-rich-quick" kind, but are going at work right on their new posses- 

Many of the newspapers of the old territorial days. 25 years ago, cau- 
tioned the settlers of that day that the most productive soil was from 8 
to 10 inches below the surface. They were laughed at by some as "news- 
paper farmers" and their advice ignored. One farmer in Crow township 
took a few turns on the sod with a pulverizer, sowed some flax seed and 
harvested ten bushels to the acre. What was the sense of turning up ten 


inches of dirt when such results could be obtained by just tickling" the 
bosom of mother earth with a pulverizer without plowing at all? Until 
very recently it was a common thing for farmers to "burn off" the stubble 
and weeds of a preceding crop and on the ground so cleared "put' in" 
the grain with a pulverizer and harrow. In fact I have known land to 
be "farmed" seven years in succession with but one plowing. One old 
farmer remarked that "people will some times get a crop here in spite of 

But my wires must have got crossed, for I have been talking a long 
ways from the SW of 8 — io6 — 66. Near the southwest corner of this 
quarter a good substantial school house is located, well protected from 
prairie fires by a cultivated field. Arrangements have been made for a 
church and cemetery near the school house by the Lutheran denomination 
which has a society organized here. The lot will be surrounded by a 
woven wire fence, the material for w^hicli is already on the ground. Near 
the school house stands a horse stable for the use of those who ride to 
school. This school house is one of the few in the county that is kept 

At the corner by the school house I turned east and passed the old 
home of Wm. Shultz that joins the school section on the west. On the 
north side of 1 6 is section 9, where John A'anous, James Counscel and 
George Deindorfer held government land with the rest of the early set- 
tlers. ]\Ir. Deindorfer took the E half of the E half of the section and 
another strip a mile long on the south side of section 10. One of these 
strips he took in June '82 and the other in the spring of 1883. In the 
spring of 1883 he was a candidate for the position of postmaster at White 
Lake, relying to a great extent upon his record as a veteran of the Civil 
war. His popularity was attested by a petiton containing between 400 
and 500 signatures, but politics controlled in those days and he was not 
sufficiently identified with the controlling faction. Mr. Deindorfer has 
sold his land and now lives in Wessington Springs. That part of his 
land which was in section 9 is now owned by Mr. B. Sailer, but is being 
rented by S. Sorenson. 

At the northeast corner of the school section I turned south follow- 
ing the stage route toward Crow Lake. On my left w-as the home of R. 
Y. Hazard, established nearly 26 years ago. before the affairs of Jerauld 
county had begun to take definite shape. To him more than to any other 
man is due the good work done in establishing the school system of the 
county, for he was the man selected by the first board of county commis- 
sioners on the first day of their first session to get the schools started. 
So well and so conservatively was the work done that, though nearly all 
of the townshi])s issued bonds, there is today but one township in the 


county that has bonds outstandmg and those are held by the state school 
fund. Mr. Hazard's land comprises the NE quarter and the N half of 
the NW quarter of the section. The S half of the NW quarter of this 
section was held by Anna Daum, the SW quarter by August Bachmore, 
while Chris Daum had the SE quarter as a tree claim. 

South of the Bachmore quarter is the NW of 22, a quarter owned for 
several years by Joseph O'Brien, now of Wessington Springs. One of 
the first branding committees appointed by the first board of commis- 
sioners at the instance of the stockmen of the county, a member of the 
first school board of Crow Lake township, always possessed of a li^■e!y 
interest in politics, Mr. O'Brien is probably as well known as any man in 
the county. 

Section 21, once held by James H. Baker, Albert Allyn, E. L. Sawyer 
and Fanny Heintz is now embraced in one farm owned by G. A. Gra}" 
of Coleridge, Neb. To section 21 Mr. Gray has added as a part of his 
farm the W half of 27, the E half of 28 and also the NE 40 acres of the 
SE of 28. This gives him a continuous body of land from the school 
section, 16, to the town of Crow Lake. A new house and barn have been 
built near the northeast corner of 21, and at the time of my trip a founda- 
tion had been built and lumber was being hauled for a new house in the 
old town. Of the land owned by Mr. Gray in 2J, the S half of SW quarter 
was at one time owned by Dr. Melcher, the N half of the SW quarter and 
the SW of the NW quarter by A. M. Allyn, and the SE of the NW and 
the N half of the NW quarter by Frank Broz. That lying in section 2'!^ 
was a part of A. M. AUyn's tree claim. 

Approaching Crow Lake on this road, the country lying along the 
south shore comes into view first. A mile away is the grove on the P'rank 
Spinier tree claim, probably the first piece of cultivated land in the town- 
ship. Spinier didn't stay long. The old tree claim is now owned by 
Vaurin Dusek. who took the land on the opposite side of the lake in the 
fall of 1882 and has lived there ever since. 

On top of the hill, northwest of the old town, I dismounted and stood 
beside the wheel a few moments to catch a glimpse of the quarter of a 
century that has gone speeding past. 

Off across the valley is the old home of Dr. Melcher, now tenantless 
and surrounded by tall weeds. The farm upon which it stands is com- 
paratively level and is one of the most fertile in the county. The road 
leading from the deserted house to the village is plainly visible, though 
used but little at present as compared with the days when Melcher, Allyn, 
McGlashan and Alward were trying to make the town one of the im- 
portant points of the county. A walk over this level road, during the 
summer time was a daih' event for the doctor, always accompanied b}- Ir's 


little daughter, Anina, for whom he named one of the townships of the 
county when he was a member of the first board of county commissioners. 
The road, as traveled by Mr. Melcher and Anina, led from the farm 
house to McGlashan's store, where the post office was located, on the east 
side of the street. Occasionally he would stop at the store kept by Vessey 
Bros., on the west side of the street. 

At the point on the hill where I first caught sight of the Melcher house 
the lake became also visible over a good part of the southwest corner. The 
lake covers 700 acres and at the time the early settlers came it was in 
places from ten to twelve feet in depth. They believed it never had been 
and never would be dry. When Mr. Peter Barrett, an older settler of the 
country, told Dr. Melcher that he had driven across the lake, and with a 
shovel had dug down two feet in hope of finding water for his team, but 
"vvas disappointed, the doctor replied that "surely he must be mistaken in 
the lake." 

A number of crafts of different styles floated on the lake in those days 
and boating was a pleasant and common pastime. The appearnce of the 
body of water then was not the same as now. There were no rushes, and 
the tall grass that now almost hides the water over a large portion of it, 
did not mar the beauty of the lake. It was a broad sheet of clear spark- 
ling water. 

One warm, summer day, when old Crow Lake was a shimmer of 
liquid lovliness Dr. Melcher took his little daughter, then but two years 
old. for a boat ride. The doctor was not a most skillful boatman, and in 
some manner the little craft was upset. For a minute there was extreme 
danger. His eyesight was just verging on the blindness that soon after 
prevented his moving about without assistance, and it was more by the 
sense of feeling than seeing that he was enabled to rescue the little girl 
from the water. The lake where the accident occurred was about five feet 
deep, and the shore fully two hundred yards away. He held the child in 
his arms a few minutes until she had recovered from her fright and then 
placing her upon his shoulder he made his way towards the shore. He 
came out of the adventure safely, and it is doubtful if he was at any time 
as badly scared as were some of the neighbors who saw the accident from 
a distance. 

Off to the right from the hill top on which I stood the old Mentzer 
ranch buildings were plainly visible. The buildings are on the south side 
of the vallev of Smith Creek, the natural outlet of Crow Lake. This val- 
ley, before it was crossed by fences, afforded a fine course for racing, and 
was used for that purpose when the people from all over the country cele- 
brated the Fourth of Ji-ily at the lake in 1887. The racing that day was 
notable. Bovs and girls came in with their ]:)onies from herding cattle 


and each one was confident his or her pony was the best. One of the 
ponies was ridden by Mary Detlef. From the top of the hill I could see 
the whole of the course over which they ran. 

The ponies with their riders were ranged up side by side at the west 
end of the track, a half mile away. I have not been able to learn the 
names of all the riders. Among them was True Vessey, then a lad of 
14 years, who was herding cattle for Jim Weddle. 

It was a large and eager throng that gathered on the prairie south of 
Vessey's store to watch the outcome of the race. The starters could be 
seen trying to get the little horses in line for a fair start. How long it 
takes ; one little fellow starts oi¥ and has to come back ; then two or three 
start and are called back ; both riders and ponies are anxious to get the 
advantage of a few feet in the start ; all are off, but the starters shout and 
yell "whoa" and all must get back into line again, while the crowd down 
by the store "wonder what's the matter." Suddenly from the starters, far 
up the valley, the breathless throng hears the signal word, "go." 

They are too far away to tell who has the best of the start, and half 
the track is covered before the race takes tangible shape to the waiting- 
people, who are already beginning to yell. Then it is seen that Alary and 
True are in the lead. Nobody cares for those behind ; all interest is cen- 
tered in the two leaders. Three-fourths of the distance is covered and 
the boy is half a length ahead. Mary, riding in modern fashion, begins 
to urge her pony to greater effort, pounding his sides with her bare heels 
and calling him to go faster. True begins to apply his whip, and under 
the sting of the quirt his steed gains another half length. Mary has no 
whip. The goal is but ten rods ahead and the other pony is leadmg by 
a length. In desperation she clutches the sun bonnet from her head and 
using it for a whip seems to make her animal realize how much in earnest 
she is. His ears drop a little further back, his nose points a little further 
ahead, his body drops a little closer to the ground, and with a magnificent 
spurt he carries his little rider into the yelling, frantic throng and over 
the line a good half neck ahead. How the crowd yelled and jumped and 
hurrahed ! Standing there on the hill it almost seemed I could hear the 
echoes from those happy celebrators of twenty years ago. Then came the 
tub races and the egg races, but at length I realize that the October air is 
getting chilly and so I get on the wheel and coast down to the old Mc- 
Glashan store, now kept by his grandson, Harry Bogardus, where I ob- 
tain good lodging for the night. The balance of the celebration will be 
told next week. 

The town of Crow Lake was platted at the southwest corner of the 
body of water after which it was named. Since the settlement of Crow 
Lake township there have been two lakes in the same hollow, the old and 


the new. Old Crow Lake, the one that was there when the white people 
came, wholly disappeared in 1893 and nothing was left to show where it 
had been, but the hollow, the town and the name. The hollow was filled 
again in 1897, but it has never had the same clear, brigh| appearance that 
characterized the old lake. 

It was to the bank of the lake near the town that the crowd gathered 
on the Fourth of July, 1887, to see the tub race. Ernest and Alex A'essey 
and another young man whose name I have not learned, were the con- 

Three common wooden wash tubs were obtained from one of the 
stores and everything made ready for the race. Ernest Vessey, never a 
man of great size was still smaller, when he was young, and this proved 
of advantage to him in the contest. His two opponents, being too large 
to get into the tubs had to lie across them, while Ernest sat like a Turk 
on the bottom of his little circular craft. 

The race began. Ernest's position made a ballast for his vessel that 
enabled him to keep it steady while he worked it through the water. As 
soon as the tubs were well started Ernest began splashing water in the 
faces and eyes of his opponents, at the same time pushing himself well to 
tlie front. His opponents could not retaliate without upsetting. Their 
onl}- course was to get out of reach of the flying water, and while they 
were moving sideways Ernest was going straight toward the pole that 
marked the end of the race. The fun was great and so was the cheering 
when the little fellow won the prize. 

Then came the egg race. The arrangement for this contest consisted 
of placing a dozen eggs ten feet apart in a line extending from a starting 
point. There being three contestants, three lines were formed. The 
runners were required to go out from the starting point and bring in the 
eggs, one at a time, and place them on tJie ground. To win was to bring 
in all the eggs first and have the fewest broken ones in the pile. Ernest 
and True Vessey and Chas. Detlef were in this race. It was mainly a 
matter of speed and dexterity. So close was the race that all three of the 
runners were going in with the last egg at the same time. The crowd had 
done a vast deal of yelling that day but they had yells enough left to wake 
the echoes from all the surrounding hills when Charley Detlef placed his 
last egg by the starting pole first, and was declared the winner. 

Then came some foot races and other sports, the celebration closing 
with fireworks in the evening. It was a jolly day for every one, so mucli 
so, in fact, that it was repeated the next year. 

T had come to Crow Lake to get the school and civil township records. 
Ilarrv r)Ogardus, being the clerk for both organizations, I was enabled 
to examine the books without further traveling. 


It was while searching these records for whatever might be of interest 
that I discovered the origin of the South Dakota Township Fireguard law. 
At the annual town meeting held on the tirst day of March, 1892, S. H. 
Melcher proposed this plan for Crow Lake township, in all respects the 
same is that imbraced in the Cleveland bill that passed the legislature the 
next winter. The plan was not adopted fully until the next year when a 
tax of ten mills was voted to carry it into effect. Having completed the 
examination of the records I spent a day looking about the old town and 

Changes in an old community are often interesting only because of 
their suggestions of previous conditions. 

From 1893 to 1897 Crow Lake was as dry as the proverbial "powder 
house" — or rather the hollow where the old lake had been — and during 
those years a well traveled road ran east straight across the valley. 1 
•followed the old road from Bogardus' store to the bank of the lake and 
looking off across the water an open way through the grass and tall rushes 
was plainly visible, though water from two to ten feet in depth has cov- 
ered the old road during the past twelve years. 

This like the other old trails is fenced up, now, only one of the cross- 
country roads being still in use. There is nothing that more eft^ectually 
impresses one with the thought that he and things about him are growing 
old, than the sight of an old road with a fence across it. This possibly 
had something to do with the old common law road by prescription. That 
fence cuts the old oft' from the new. Beyond it lies the great field of 
memory. It was this that caused Gault to write to his brother in the 
stanzas of that beautiful poem "Twenty Years Ago." 

"I've wandered to the village, Tom, 

I've sat beneath the tree, 
Upon the school house play ground, Tom, 

That sheltered you and me. 
But none were left to greet me, Tom, 

And few were left to know, 
Who played with us upon the green, 

Just twenty years ago." 

]Many other changes, besides the old roads have occurred. The house 
once occupied by Jack Vessey, the resident partner of the firm of A'essey 
&Albert, has been moved to the Anton Reindl farm on section 20. The 
old store is now a sheep barn ; the building that was once the office of 
the Crow Lake "Homesteader" and the residence of its editor, Mr. 
Pooley, is now some where in Buft'alo county; the school house that stood 
on the west side of the street has been moved to the northeast corner of 


the township ; the frame building with its sod addition, at one time the 
village restaurant, is now^ a stable, but minus the sod addition. I spent 
the night with Mr. Barnum, the mail carrier, in the house built by A. M. 
Allyn, the first settler in the town, and where Mrs. W. R. Annis, now of 
Viola township, taught the first school in the old village. The old black- 
smith shop of Fred Wood was moved to Wessington Springs. The old 
store building and residence of J. T. McGlashan is still where he built it, 
has just received a new^ coat of paint and contains a stock of goods that 
proves a great convenience to the people who go there for their mail and 


The Author. 



The following articles belong in this volume, though not history in 
the strict sense of the term. The first — "The Evening Glow" — is a beau- 
tifully told story of early life in Wessington Spring, the characters in 
which will be readily recognized by all old settlers. The author, Mrs. 
Maude Campbell Cotton, of Lake Bluff, Chicago, is a daughter of Rev. 
J. G. Campbell, for many years a resident of Jerauld county. 

The last article is an attempt to trace one of the old roads that led 
from the town to the seminary and on, northwest, into the countr}-, in 
the old days, before the railroad came to Wessington Springs. 


Maude Campbell Cotton. 

The County Commissioners had a problem before them — what was to 
be done with Granny Smith. Uncle Jimmie Smith had been suddenly 
released from his hard and unecjual struggle with the world, and was 
having the first quiet rest of the whole seventy years of his life, so poor 
old Granny was left entirely alone, with no one of kin nearer than her 
old home in England. 

Some strange fate had tempted these two childless and friendless old 
people some ten years before to come to the new country of South Dakota, 
where "land was to be had for the taking and all the dreams of a care- 
free existence realized." It had been a hard struggle all along — there 
had been crop failures, misfortunes with the stock, the cattle and horses 
which had not succumbed to the rigors of the new climate and the in- 
sufficient food, had been taken to satisfy mortgages, so that Uncle Jim- 
mie's widow found herself with a partially cultivated quarter-section of 
land, two horses, four cows, a few chickens, and various pieces of ma- 
chinery needed in carrying on the work of the farm. Plainly enough she 
could not care for herself— -there was no one to care for her. This new 


county in a new state had nothing in the nature of poorhouse — beside, 
she was not a pauper, but the owner of a farm, and its equipment, however 

Accordingly the suggestion had been made to the county authorities 
that her farm be turned over to them under condition that she be cared 
for during her lifetime. After much discussion and many trying visits 
from the old lady, the decision was made to accept the bequest, and work 
was immediately begun upon a suitable dwelling within the borders of 
the town of Walsington Falls, the county seat. One room, 12x14 f^et, 
comprised the house, but what a paradise it seemed to Granny. She 
could scarcely be called prepossessing, yet the little old face, crisscrossed 
by many wrinkles, the faded blue eyes, with no trace of softening brow 
or lash, seemed to grow youthful as she watched over the building of this 
new home. Here for the first time in her life she was to experience the 
joy and freedom of being mistress of a home. Jimmie had been master 
and mistress both all these years, and while she had grown well accus- 
tomed to that state of afifairs, there was considerable excitement over the 
new era. 

Now, also, for the first time in her life she was allowed to handle 
money — actually to make purchases upon her own responsibility. A small 
sum was allowed her each month for her living, and while at first the joy 
of possession with privilege of spending, involved her in difficulties — 
even in financial embarrassment — yet what could one expect of a child of 
sixty-eight, with those years of repression behind her. 

The tiny home was soon arranged — bed in one corner, table, holding" 
her Bible and one or two other books, beside it, with the two rocking 
chairs disposed at the foot, beside the south window, — this end was parlor 
and bed room. The stove — a range — occupied the middle of the room, 
giving heat to the parlor, and furnishing opportunity for the necessary 
work of the kitchen, which was in the opposite end of the room. The 
dining table, with its lonely chair, stood beside the north window, on the 
line between the divisions, and through windows and door to east, south 
and west streamed the warm prairie sun and the fresh prairie breeze. 

The new situation brought many pleasures and undreamed of privi- 
leges to the little old lady, but her chief delight soon grew to be "going 
to church." The little home was near church and parsonage, and the 
sound of the bells always found her ready, and her seat the first one filled. 
The minister, however stormy the day, was always sure of one good lis- 
tener, and soon grew to depend upon that wrinkled, upturned face, 
puckered with anxiety as she tried to follow him wherever he wandered. 
Unconsciouslv, in his effort to make his message clear and simple for this 
untutored soul, he grew into greater strength, and his people remarked 


upon a steady improvement, little dreaming" that it came about through the 
presence of the little black figure, well to the front of the room, and al- 
ways there. 

She, in turn grew to feel the importance of her positon and to as- 
sume a responsibility in the direction of the church affairs to an unwonted 
degree. At one of the minor meetings in the absence of the pastor, she 
had even pronounced the benediction, but after a quiet explanation from 
the preacher, she had not again attempted that, confining herself to mat- 
ters more closely within her sphere. 

She had many years to make up — Uncle Jimmie had never approved 
of church going. 

"What's the use a-wastin' time that away," he would growl, "horses 
that 'ave been worked 'ard h'all the week shoudn't ort to be druv on Sun- 
day — h'anyow don't see what you want to go fur. — Notice the folks that's 
so hanxious to go to church 're no better 'n them 'at stay at 'ome. Didn't 
h'old Bill Lawson, who was alius going to church, sell me seed flax as was 
more'n 'alf mustard, chargin' me fur the best flax?" 

All these things were forgotten now, however, and Granny often 
sighed and wished "poor Jimmie" could have been with her to enjoy the 
church meetings. 

Next to church going she most delighted in visiting — spending the 
day with her new acquaintances of the town or country near by. Her 
ten years residence within a few miles of the town had not made for her 
as many friends as the first year in her new home. She believed, without 
having heard it said, that she who would have friends, must show herself 
friendly, and so much of her time was spent in "visitations." 

One bright, brisk morning in December, while the most of the town 
folks were still leisurely breakfasting, the quaint little figure in black 
shawl and hood started for a long day at the home of Mrs. Douglas. It 
was a hard walk — two miles over frozen country roads, with no chance 
of a ride, for all the teams were bound for the village. It was a breath- 
less old lady with red cheeks and blurred eyes who surprised Mrs. Doug- 
las's as she was skimming the milk for the calves' breakfast. 

"Goodness, Grandma Smith, how you stratled me. You must be 
frozen after that long walk against the cold wind. Come in and sit by 
the fire — put your feet right in the oven and get them warm, Avhile I 
make you a cup of tea," said Mrs. Douglass, as she bustled about helping 
remove the old lady's wraps, getting a newspaper to shield her face from 
the too ardent fire, and bringing out tea pot and caddy. 

"You came just in time — yesterday I made a big batch of doughnuts, 
and I guess they're good the way they have been disappearing." 


Grannie's face fairly beamed as she thawed under the influence of 
warm kitchen, hospitable greeting and the refreshing tea. 

"You're right "arly this mornin', Mis Douglass, — thought sure hid 
be down 'fore breakfast dishes wus washed. Anything special h'on to- 
day, you're so smart?" 

"O, we're early birds down here, grandma, and today Malcolm is 
going up north for seed corn, so he wanted to be off in good season. You 
know how short the days are." 

Good Mrs. Douglass said nothing of her plan to accompany Malcolm 
and visit a distant neighbor on the way. She was accustomed to Gran- 
ny's unexpected appearances. 

"I declare," she had said to a friend whom Granny was also fond of 
visiting, "sometimes when the day's plans are so upset I feel like telling 
her she must send me word before coming, but that face — so unconscious 
that there can be anything more important than her entertainment — 
closes my lips ; I cannot bear to see the joy die out. Think how few her 
pleasures are at best." 

So not a hint of frustrated plans appeared in her cordial manner, and 
when Malcolm rushed in with the cry, "All ready soon's I hitch ur>," on 
his lips her warning glance and shake of the head told him his journey 
must be made without her. 

Malcolm was a prime favorite, and his gay greeting, "Hello, grandma, 
where'd you get those dandy red cheeks? The girls don't stand any 
show when you're around," met with broad smiles and a "Just 'ear that 
now. Don't 'e love to flatter the h'old ladies though?" 

"No sir! I never flatter. You know, grandma," sitting down close 
be^uie her, 'T always thought," but the rest of the sentence was finished 
m her ear and lost to all others. The eft"ect was overpowering, for she 
laughed until she coughed and choked and wound up in a wild gale of 
cackles "and gurgles. 

"Go on now," she gasped, with tears streaming down her face, as 
^Malcolm, seizing a doughnut in each hand, kissed his mother goodbye and 
v\'as off with a parting wave to her. "Aint 'e the greatest — alius 'as the 
gay word for h'everybody — sech a pranker." 

Then, and her eyes took on a faraway look, she said, "You know, 
JMis Douglass, that dear boy do make me think o' my poor dear Jimmie 
more and more h'every time I see 'im." 

Mrs. Douglass looked amused, for Uncle Jimmie, the gruft', surl}' old 
man, wasting few words, pleasant or otherwise on anyone, seemed end- 
lessly remote from her bright^faced boy, whose cheer)^ presence and quick 
wit brightened not onh- the home l^nt the whole neis'hborhood. 


"Yes,'' granny went on reflectively, " 'e cerinly do make me think o' 
Jimmie in 'is talk and hactions. Yes, hand in 'is looks too — that red 'air 
do remind me of Jimmie's ginger whiskers." 

Mrs. Douglass laughed heartily. "Well Malcolm's hair is inclined to 
be gingery, and he is certainly the spice of our family. We will miss him 
sadly when he is off to school next month." 

"Poor granny, how quickly all remembrance of disappointment and 
hardship has vanished," thought Mrs. Douglass, "she is enjoying Uncle 
Jimmie more in his death than she ever did in his life." 

It was true, — ^the great alchemist Time had cast a pleasing glow over 
the past, eliminating all the gloom and shadows. To his widow now Jim- 
mie Smith had grown into the likeness of all one could desire, and Mal- 
colm's attractive face and m.anner personified to her all that she would ask 
for her husband. 

Mrs. Douglas broke into her reverie by saying, "Now, grandma, shall 
we go into the other room and get to work? I have a comforter on the 
frames and while we visit I will try to tie it off. Yes, you may help if 
\ou wish, if it is not too hard for you." 

A big base burner made this room comfortable. The bright sunlight 
flooded it through the south windows, and added almost a feeling of 
summer, which could only be dissipated by a glance at the wintry land- 
scape outside. An organ brought from the east stood in one corner, neai 
it a bookcase, fashioned by Mrs. Douglass' own clever hands, and filled 
with well selected works. A roomy table, holding the big lamp, was well 
littered with books and magazines. Neighbors said, "Those Douglasses 
will never be rich. Look at the money they spend for books and papers. 
Why their magazines must cost them $io a year. Think of getting a dif- 
ferent magazine for each of them six children. It's reckless waste." 

Grandma seized upon some of the recent publications — J\Irs. Douglass 
noticed she selected those belonging to the younger children — and looked 
through the pictures, but talk was more to her taste, and soon needles 
were threaded and she prepared to do her share of both talk and work. 
Mrs. Douglass was a safe companion. Under her kindly thought and 
suggestion, harsh criticism and unneighborly gossip were changed into 
harmless and friendly feeling. 

"Well, Mis Douglass, did you 'ear 'ow cut up Mis Jack Thompson 
was when she got to church last Sunday mornin', a leetle late o' course, 
and found that Mattie Garraway up playin' the orgin in her place? You 
know Mis Thompson thinks that Mattie's tryin' to git in as organist, and 
all them Garraways are jest pushin' her for'd.'' 

"Why no, grandma, that's a mistake. Mrs. Thompson is a very busy 
woman and with all her family cares it is not strange she should occa- 


sionally be late to church, and I know she is glad to have ]\Iattie there to 
take her place when she is detained. It is so kind of her to give her talent 
freely and we should appreciate it." 

"Well now, mebbe that's so, 'course I don't know nothin' about it, 
but that's the way it was handled to me," said granny, her mind easily 
diverted and ready to t'hink good will to men, if somebody would only 
suggest it to her." 

"Didn't you think Brother Norvell preached a powerful sermon week 
ago on the mistakes o' Cain? I tell you I couldn't help a thinkin' o' Mr. 
Miller and the spite he holds agin that good Mr. Grayson. You know 
for a long time 'e wouldn't come to church at h'all, 'e was so mad. 'I went 
right hup to im after meetin' and said 'h'l tell you that ort to be a strong 
example to h'us these days, sez I, not to hate our brotherin, but before 
h'l could say h'anything more 'e jest grunted and walked h'away. H'l 
tell ye Mis Douglass, that man's powerful sot, and if 'e haint watchin' i's 
steps e'll fall in the mud," finished granny with a pious look. 

"Well, we must remember that Mr. Miller has not had the advantages 
of some and while he is very decided in his opinions and does not easily 
forgive, yet he is a kind neighbor and thoughtful of those less fortunate 
than himself." 

"That's so," agreed granny again, reminded of his many visits to her 
door with vegetables from his well stocked pit, a chicken or a fresh piece 
of meat, "H'l alius did say that man 'ad a good 'art in 'is stummick. 
There's something good about h'anyone as has a warm thought for the 
widders and fatherless." 

The day wore pleasantly away, granny enjoying to the utmost the 
atmosphere of the well ordered home. 

"My land. Mis Douglass, h'l must be gittin' 'ome. Time h'l git my 
water and coal for the night, 'twill be supper time, tho I dunno 's I'll 
need much arter that 'earty dinner I et. But h'l'll 'ave a cup o' tea and 
get somethin' for Moses." 

"Who's Moses? Well now you knew I named that cat Moses, didn't 
ye? Didn't h'll tell ye 'bout findin' 'im down in the Big Gulch sort o' 
caught in an old basket right in the runway? His yowls was gettin' feeble 
an' guess 'e begun to give up 'ope. I wonder I never told you abouL that. 
Anyhow, cause o' findin' h'im'thr.t wa}- 1 called 'im Moses, and 'es as 
much comfort to me as h'ever the real Moses was to old Pharaoh way 
down in Egypt. 'E'll be at the door waitin' for me when i git 'ome.'" 
continued the old lady as she fastened the tliick black shawl about her. 

"Here, grandma, is somethirg I've been intending for you and I think 
it will be a comfort during the cold trip home. I noticed your face was 
not well protected this n^orning and this thick veil you will find ver\- 


warm." So saying Mrs. Douglas proceeded to wrap the veil about gran- 
ny's head. 

"Jest wait a minit, Mis Douglas, 'fore you tie that, there's something 
I want to speak about. You know they've decided to have another tree 
Christmas eve in the church like they did last year. Now if you really 
want to give that veil to me, and I certainly would be hawful thankful for 
it, would you mind 'angin' it hon the Christmas tree instid?" 

Then as Mrs. Douglas did not immediately reply, she went on : "You 
know every year it seems all the folks gits somethink on that tree but me, 
and its right lonesome settin' there jest lookin' on. I had some thought 
o' makin' up somethink and 'angin' a little parcel h'on fer myself. Of 
course no one would a knowed I done it, but seein' 's your givin' me this 
so near Christmas I reely would enjoy it a heap more if it came on the 

Mrs. Douglass showed no amusement at the odd request and assured 
granny that she could quite understand the feeling, but insisted upon her 
wearing the veil home. 

The sudden appearance of Mr. Douglas with the announcement that 
he found it necessary to go to town and granny could ride, cut short the 
conversation and nothing more was said about the Christmas tree. 

"Poor old grandma. The Christmas joy is for the children, and what 
is she but a child. Her life really began when she came to town to live, 
so she is pretty young still, and there are few of us who would think 
her existence held much to be happy over. I wonder I never before 
thought she might better enjoy her Christmas things if they came by way 
of Santa Claus and the tree," mused Mrs. Douglass as she went about 
preparations for the supper and made everything cozy for the home com- 
ing of the children from school. Her warm heart could understand and 
sympathize with the longing of children of whatever age, and between 
that time and Christmas she made several quiet suggestions to her friends. 

The great night came at last and the church was crowded with people 
of all ages. Every seat was taken, all standing room filled. Even the 
high window sills each held two venturesome boys who could not under 
ordinary circum.stances have kept still enough to sit on such uncertain 
perches. In her usual Sunday seat, second from the front, sat Grandma 
Smith among the children. Christmas songs were lustily sung, Christ- 
mas recitations given. From the tiniest member of the primary class who 
lisped, "The Bells of Christmas Ring," and then too much overcome to 
finish his couplet ran to hide his face in his mother's lap, to the almost 
young lady, who read of the Star and the Shepherds from Ben Hur. all 
ranks of the Sunday school were represented. But the crowning joy 
came with sudden and dramatic entry of Santa Claus from the cunningl}- 


devised fire place and chimney, who, after a bright speech of greeting 
proceeded to distribute the gifts about the tree and in his pack. 

Granny's face was as eager as any about her, and she had quite for- 
gotten the disappointment of past years when Santa. Claus in loud tones 
announced "Grandma Smith," holding high a large white parcel. Then 
a moment later another, this time a tiny one. The old lady's surprise and 
delight were touching. At each call she would rise and bow her thanks 
to the princely benefactor, greeting the bearer of the gift with out- 
stretched arms. By the time the tree was stripped she was almost hid- 
den beneath her gifts and so overcome she could only sit quietly with 
tears running down her withered cheeks. 

The young men, headed by ]\Ialcolm, escorted her and her treasures 
home, and after giving three cheers for "Grandma Smith, the most 
popular girl in town," left her table piled high to spend the rest of the 
night opening and enjoying her parcels. Even Moses was not forgotten, 
for one little packet bearing the inscription, "For Moses, — Merry Christ- 
mas," proved to be a beautiful red bow for his neck. 

The next Sunday as soon as the sermon was ended Grandma rose in 
her place and said 'T hask your pardon. Brother Norvell, for gittin' up 
now, but if I don't tell these folks my thanks I can't stand it. Nothink 1 
can ever say will let you know wdiat my feelins 'as been sence Christmas 
eve. I know now 'ow the Prodigal Son felt when 'e came 'ome, and I 
jest wish I 'ad a fatted calf to give h'every one o' ye. God bless ye." 

The joy of the Christmas time remained a never failing delight as the 
days went by, and everyone she met must needs hear of the comfort and 
pleasure she had enjoyed. Different ones, however, noticed as time went 
on, and the bracing cold Avinds yielded to the milder breath of spring that 
grandma was not as active — seemed content to be dreamily at home with 
the faded blue eyes fixed upon the waving grass growing green upon the 
hillside. To all inquiries, however, she returned the same answer: 
"Never was sick in my life — don't know why I should be now. Jest a 
leetle tired 's all, or else I've got spring fever." 

One Sunday evening she was not in her accustomed seat at the service 
the first time she had missed in her four years of town life, and Mrs. 
Douglass went to learn if she was sick. 

"No, not a mite sick. Mis Douglass, jest a bit tired, and somehow 
tonight when the bell rang it said, 'set and rest, set and rest.' instill of 
'come to church, come to church,' as it alius 'as afore. Ben thinkin' a 
'eap o' poor dear Jimmie tonight. You know I believe that poor man 
used to git hawfu] tired with 'is work, but 'e never said nothink about it. 
I've worried some about 'im sence I've ben a livin' here, the way 'e used 
to go on about things, never went to church nor took no intrust, but 


settin' here tonight it come to me that it's all right. Poor Jimmie never 
ad no chance at h'anythink but "ard work sence 'e was born, never had 
anybody to look arter him till 'e got me, and praps I. want much 'elp. I 
was jest a wishin' 'e could ha ben 'ere to 'ave enjoyed this Christmas with 
me. I know there never was a Christmas like it afore." 

"No, there haint nothink you can do fer me. I haint sick — jest a 
leetle tired. I'll be all right in the mornin'. Good night. Miss Douglas, 
I'm comin' down one of these days for a good visit." 

The next morning the neighbors, noticing an unusual quiet about the; 
little home, went in — the door was never locked. Granny was lying 
quietly, still resting, with a smile of great content upon her old worn face. 

They carried her to her beloved church, in accordance with her oft 
expressed wish and the minister spoke simply, telling of the inspiration 
her faithfulness had been to him, drawing lessons of courage and help- 
fulness from the simple, homely life for all his people. "These closing 
years," he said, "have been like the golden glow of the sunset, breaking 
through the clouds after a gloomy day, casting its softening , reflection 
over the day that is past and forecasting the glory to come." 


/// JJ'hich a Burgomaster is Shozvn Some of the Old IJ^ays of JFessing- 

ton Springs. 

Twelve o'clock — midnight, and all was well. The street presented the 
appearance of a city in the night watches when the police are asleep. The 
last tired laborer had gone to his couch and to the refreshing slumber 
earned by honest toil. 

The full moon from behind great banks of fleecy clouds was flooding 
the earth with a faint light that slightly relieved the darkness of the hour. 
Large objects were dimly visible a few feet away. 

Insomnia, superinduced by heat and the manifold cares of city govern- 
ment, caused the burgomaster to leave his bed and wander forth upon the 
deserted streets. The air was still, and listen as he might, not a sound 
could his overwrought nerves distinguish ; yet there was vibration, noise, 
sound, something like the moaning of the forest, or the sullen indisting- 
uishable roar of the ocean in calm. B. was feeling, rather than hearing, 
the great speechless voice of the prairie — the never-still noise of silence. 

A half hour the B. stood, resting his hand against the liberty pole that 
stands, and has stood for years, in the center of the square at the crossing 


of the main streets of the town. His head was bent, his gaze fixed upon 
the ground at his feet. He was absorbed in thought of the many cares 
laid upon him. 

Sudden!}' B. felt, rather than heard, that someone was approaching. 
He raised his head and looked about. From the direction of the Willard 
Hotel a man was approaching, distinguishable through the darkness by 
his long beard and flowing locks, both of which were snowy white. The 
stranger made no sound as he came along the street. He advanced with 
rapid steps straight to the waiting magistrate and when almost within 
reach of arm, came to a sudden halt. 

"Who are you?" said the alderman, in wonder at the appearance of 
the stranger. 

"Don't know me, eh? Forgotten me so quick, have you? Well, sir, 
I at one time knew you very well, and you knew me very well, too. I 
was once the best friend you had, but so is the way of the world. A 
good friend is forgotten so soon as he is powerless to help." 

"But, really, I do not recall you ; your appearance must have changed 
greatly. Tell me, who are you, I would not appear ungrateful." 

"Don't worry, Mr. Aldeman, I am one of a very large family, and but 
few of us are remembered, except by an individual, now and then. We 
are hailed with joy and bell ringing when we come, but the bells peal 
just as loudly at our funerals, for another member of the family is always 
at hand to try what he can do for men." 

"But who are you?" repeated the burgomaster, "from your aged ap- 
pearance you must be tired and in need of rest. Why did you not stop 
at the hotel yonder? Where are you going? Why are you out at this 

"I might put the same question to you, for it is the time when you 
and your family are wont to take their rest. But as for me and my fam- 
ily, no one of them ever yet was tired, though they have been numbered 
by thousands. They never sleep and never rest. I have come to look over 
the place where I lived and to see what my brothers have done for the 
people, every one of whom I knew so well. Will you pilot me about the 
place? I see many changes have occurred since I left. I came in on the 
old stage road that George Pratt traveled when he carried the mail for 
Bert Orr from Plankinton to Huron. Bert Orr had a livery stable here, 
you know, and Pratt rode in an open buggy summer and winter, carry- 
ing an umbrella over him to keep off the sun in hot weather, and in front 
of him to keep off the wind when it was cold. I think there are some 
here yet, who rode with him in that old buggy." 

"Where is your team and vehicle?" asked the magistrate, still peering 
in the darkness at his singular companion." 


"Didn't have any,'' said the stranger. "Makes too much noise. To 
carry me they take Time, and go too slow." 

"Do you tell me you came on foot and are not tired." 

"No matter how I came," said the mysterious stranger. "I got here 
on the old stage -road ; I came through the Bateman gulch, that is what 
we used to call it before the Chicago preacher got hold of it. I climbed 
over or crawled through wire fences that now cross the road, till I got 
up on the hill. I find that the cemetery has spread out and increased in 
population, as well as the town. It is but a few rods east of the old road, 
so I went over there to look about a bit. It's a sightly spot and could 
be made very beautiful but will never be attractive. A few houses about 
forty rods west of the road have been built since I was here. Then I 
followed along this way till I came to a woven wire fence. I climbed that 
a couple of times and finally bumped up against the southwest corner of 
a lumber yard that has the name of Fullerton painted on the long build- 
ing which forms part of the inclosure. Then I went to the hotel built 
by Mrs. Spears and Jesse, away back there in the '80s. I saw a nice 
thrifty bush of yellow roses growing on the south side of the hotel. I 
remember when the good woman put the little sprout there and gave it 
the name of the great president of the W. C. T. U. Mrs. Spears always 
called it the Willard rose. I wonder how many of your people remember 
the bush and its name, though I warrant you all admire it and its blos- 
soms at the return of each June time. But I want to visit the Barrett 
gulch, where Uncle Peter and Aunt Sarah kept the Elmer postoffice. be- 
fore the town was large enough to claim an office and change its name. 

"But you will not think of going on tonight; you cannot find the 

"Ha! ha!" laughed the stranger; "don't worry, but go with me and 
I will show you that I can follow the old trail in a night darker than this." 

"But its all changed and fenced, and buildings erected in the old way," 
exclaimed the alderman. 

"Never mind about that," said the strange old man, as he clutched his 
long bony fingers about the Squire's arm and urged him on. 

Starting from the liberty pole, the stranger, with wonderful strength 
for one so old, hurried the alderman west, dowai Main street a few yards, 
remarking that the hill was not as steep as when he lived in W'.. then 
turned to the right. 

"They didn't have any stones in the street when I lived here." said 
the old man, as he stumbled on to the cement sidewalk. "But what's 
this?" he exlaimed, as he ran against a building. "I am in the road. sure. 
Has some one put a building in the road? 'Tisn't the post office? No. 


that stands right where Uncle Peter built it when he came down town." 

"This is Frick's drug store," said the burgomaster. 

■'Built right in the road," said the old man ; "why don't you make him 
move it?" 

"We moved the road." 

"That ye couldn't do. You might have laid out a new one, but the old 
one can't be moved. That's why I know I can follow it. Come on, we'll 
go round the house and get in the road beyond it. Now, turn to the left," 
he said, as they got to the northeast corner of the drug store, "and we'll 
find the road- again. Thunder !" he exclaimed, as he and the magistrate 
plumped together down against another building. "What they got here ?" 

"Pfaff's bowling alley," said the squire. 

"It's in the road and we've a right to step on it," said the old man, 
testily. "Come on, what next? Is the bridge gone?" he asked, as he 
plunged into the creek, dragging the burgomaster after him. 

"People don't cross the creek here any more," said the alderman, as 
he lifted his muddy boots and stood beside the old man. 

"Moved it, I suppose. Why don't they put their buildings by the side 
of the road, as they did in Boston, instead of making a new way every 
time a man wants to build a house. Now what?" the stranger inquired, 
as they came to the corner of a good sized structure. 

"Bushnell's electric light plant," replied the squire. 

"W^ell, I vum ! Took pains to put everything in the road, didn't they. 
I remember that Alf Thompson put up a barn just beyond here, once, 
and put the corner of it in the usual traveled road. He made a bath house. ' 
too, but he had the good sense to put that on the east side of the creek 
behind the barn. He made the bath house of stone, but it fell down, flat 
as the walls of Jericho. Frank Whitney bought the barn, and also a 
house that Wm. Bremner had built on the west side of the highway. They 
haven't been moved out into the road, have they? No? Well they seem 
to have been the only people who had any regard for the rights of the 
traveling public. But, now, look there !" exclaimed the old man, when 
they had gained the top of the creek bank, "if \Aniitney's haven't run the 
corner of their fence across the old wagon track. 

"But. wait a minute," he said, "I want to tell you of a funny thing 
that once happened in that barn back there. A couple of young ladies 
went into the barn, looking for eggs, I guess, and after looking about the 
barn floor they dropped through a small hole in the floor down into the 
basement. After they got done hunting they tried to go out at the cast 
end, but found that the basement door was fastened on the outside, and 
no way to open it. One of the ladies was smaller than the other and got 
back up through the hole in the floor without much trouble : but the largest 


girl fitted the place pretty snug and it took the combined efforts of both 
of them, pulling, wiggling, lifting and puffing to get her up on the barn 
fioor again. Then, with a look of blank amazement on her face the 
smaller one said, "Why didn't I think to go down outside and open the 
basement door and let you out that way.' " 

Then, not stopping to laugh, the old man hurried the squire around 
the corner of the fence and diagonally across the street. "Another barn 
right across the track. Whose is this ? O, yes ! this belongs with the 
pretty house that Alf Thompson built. Who lives here now?" 

"Thomas Mead." 

"And who lives in that house to the right, there. You see the old 
way runs between these houses." 

"That house is where Miss Alice Moulton lives. It was built by Z. 
S. Moulton," replied the alderman. 

"Stop a minute," said the old man; "do you see that house over there, 
on the corner, to the left, across this newfangled street of yours? Who 
lives there?" 

"Mrs. R. M. McNeil." 

"Well," said the stranger, "that house was brought over the hills from 
near old 'Tumbledown'- — Templeton, they called it until the walls caved 
in. It was moved over by a young lawyer named Ed. Nordyke. He 
came along with it all right until he got part way down the hill up yonder, 
when one wagon broke and the building remained up there quite a while. 
The owner was unable to get it up or down. He finally gave Alf Thomp- 
son $25 to bring it down off the hill to where it now stands. But we must 
hurry on or we won't reach the gulch tonight." 

With an accuracy that seemed almost instinctive, the old man led the 
way across Fourth street until he arrived in front of a fine looking resi- 
dence. "Well," he said, "this man has been considerate, anyway. He 
has put a gate in the road. I don't like to go through the house at this 
time of night, so we'll go around and take the road beyond. Whose place 
is this?" said the stranger when they had reached the alley fence. 

"Lewis Jacobs'." 

"Why, yes, I remember him, a good chunk of a boy when I lived 
here. And this next place was built by Dave Moulton, who had gumption 
enough to put his buildings beside the road and not in it. Got to climb 
another fence, I see," as they arrived a few feet east of the northwest 
corner of the yard. "What's that over there to the right," the stranger 
inquired as they got into the street again. 

"That's the Congregational church and parsonage," said the alderman, 
trying to keep along with the old man who hurried across the street. 


Didn't put that in the road, for a wonder ; but I expect they've run a 
fence across it. Yes, sure,'' — 

The old man had vanished. His disappearance was followed by a 
splash of water and the alderman heard him crying out, "Say, Mr. Burgo- 
master, give me a hand, please. I'm in it, whatever it is. What do you 
call it, anyway?" 

"It's a ditch for the water main. There is more than a mile of it open 
in the town. I cautioned you against going on in the dark." 

"But I didn't look for things of that kind in the road," replied the old 
fellow as he shook the water from his garments. "What ye have water 
in it for?" 

"They tapped a spring near here." 

"Well, I heard the folks talk of water works when I lived here long 
ago. but I didn't think it would ever come. I didn't think they would ever 
get further than a "comical" engine. 

They passed the ditch and entered the parsonage grounds. "What's 
this, now," said the stranger, as he stopped to examine something in the 
track. I declare if it isn't a bunch of flowers growing right in the old 

They got into the street again and the old man led the way straight 
north for quite a distance. Suddenly he stopped and again grasped the 
squire by the arm. "The Seminary!" he exclaimed. "Where is it?" The 
alderman told the story of the disaster, and the plans for a larger and 
better building, the walls of which were already going up. 

"Look here, burgomaster. You may go on with your new town, made 
by new people, and built on new plans. You may erase every old land 
mark, and build new and costly edifices in place of the old, but you can 
never get into Wessington Springs a people of more sterling worth and 
higher enterprise than the men and women, boys and girls who for fifteen 
years traveled, summer and winter, over the old road we have followed 
tonight, to get knowledge at the feet of J. K. Freeland and his successors ; 
to listen to the words of wisdom from the great intellects that were 
brought here, Joseph Cook, Littell, Sanford, Copeland, Hoar, and a hun- 
dred others; to attend the commencement exercises that sent many young 
men and women forth into the world to make it better because of what 
those few hardy pioneers struggled for and accomplished. I lived among 
these people and I knew them. You may gather more of wealth and far 
more of modern improvements, for they were a simple, unpretentious 
folk, but you will never gather a population with higher ideals of the 
duties of citizenship than those who, though few in number, sustained 
the old town. 


The old road you and I have followed tonight, should be emblazoned 
with bright monuments, for it was the road the old town traveled to fame, 
honor and greatness. This institution will rise higher and continue in 
growth and influence, but you must never forget that its foundations, laid 
deep in honor, virtue and sobriety, were planted by the people of another 
era. I have seen enough. I am content. I am one of the 3'ears of time. 
My number was 1890. Good-bye.'' 




Town platted 68 

Post Office 68, 148, 156, 252 

Railroad ....69, 156, 229, 282, 314, 320 

Livery 69, 274, 282, 314 

Billiard Hall 149, 328 

Hotel 149, 274, 291, 308, 314 

Lumber Yards 150 

Journal 69, 223, 254, 262, 273 

Meat Market 152, 292, 328 

Hardware 199, 267, 280, 291 

Sham Inaugural 200 

Race track 200, 212 

Incorporates . . 215 

Presbyterian Church, 222, 229, 273, 

274, 278, 317, 328 

City Scales 234 

Creamery 244, 254 

Graduates 245, 250, 309, 317, 321 

Flag Staff 257 

Brass Band 273, 283 

Out of debt 283 

Independent School District 283 

Artesian Well 291 

Rebekah Lodge 291 

Drug Store 292, 321 

Calaboose 292 

Millinery 302, 330 

Home Guardians 309 

Jewelry 309, 321 

Improvement Association 321 

Poney race 328 

Aurora County 20, 55, "^2, 90 

Anina Twp 27 

Allun 27, 47, i7S 

Arne 28, 224, 235, 356 

Albert, S. H 45 

Ahart 59, Si, 53- 

Arnold and Housel 58 

Applegate Building 59 

Arnold, W. L. . .69, 150, 221, 230, 233 
Appointment of Officers... 82, 85, 86 

Auction Sale, first 114 

Ayers I33 

Ada P. 192, 'z.Tz 

Artesian Wells 221, 236, 

243, 24s, 264, 278, 293, 301, 307, 7>Z^ 

Aid to Russian poor 228 

Alpena School Twp., out of debt. .263 


Allen 292 

Ausman 310 

American Society of Equity 316 

Anina Twp 325 

Among Review Readers 

Assessment 97 

Annis 367 

Alward 383 

Appendix 447 


Barret 10, 23, 66, 223, 294 

Burr, C. S 18, 30, 57, 200 

Brown 18, 19, 30 

Bateman/ 19, 23, 24, 30, 55, 57, 82, 

183, 297 

Blowers, H 19, 23, 55, 60, 82 

Barber, Mary 28 

Buffalo County 34, ^2, 73, 78 

Barber, C. S 46 

Blank 54, 150, 182 

Bolton 54 

Bourne 60 

Bridges 79, 94, 228, 231, 234, 260 

Beals 96 

Banks, 105, 150, 190, 199, 224, 229, 
24s, 246, 278, 288, 294, 295, 304, 
306, 310, 314, 320, 321, 372, 328 

Baseball 115, 211, 

242, 253, 264, 289, 295, 317, 324 

Brand Committee 129 

Bechtold 158 

Blizzard 164 

Beadell 174 

Byam 181 

Byers 183 

Bearg 184 

Binford 188 

Barber, Ray 199, 274 

Burger 214, 242, 314, 395 

Blosser 225, 242 

Brodkorb. .233, 262, 263, 308, 313, 334 

Bachus 245, 262, 294, 310 

Brown, F. M 258 

Bradford 298 

Blackrust 304 

Brandenburg 313, 322, 356 

Bushnell 314, 322 

Burns 328 

Butterfield 353 

Baker 389 


Boyd 395 

Byers 409 



Chapin, Rev 16 

Chery, C. M 16, 25, 275 

Church, M. E., 23, 60, 62, 102, 148, 
15s, 211, 244,' 257, 278, 294, 298, 

306, 309 
Campbell, J. G., 24, 25, 45, 52, 65, 

70, 102, S22 

Converse, 27, 62, 141, 163, 188, 202, 224 

Combs & Harris 27 

Cook, John 28 

Crittenden, B. F 28 

Chapman, John 28 

Cooley, F. M 33, 44 

Conrad 33 

Church, Congregational, 34, 222, 

233> 257, 263, 307, 308, 313, 

320, 324, 328 

Corbin, J. M 45, 354 

Conley 46 

Coors 47, 80, 350 

Crow 55, 92, 349 

Castleman ..56, 150, 289, 292, 300, 

302, 308 

Carlton House 59, 266, 274 

Constitutional Convention, 61, 62, 

132, 202 

Cemetery 69, 142, 148 

Commissioner Districts, 78, loi, 

203, 311, 336 
County Seat ....80, 81, 82, 85, 91, 92 

Corbin . . . 93 

Crow Lake, 106, 127, 106, 308, 415, 420 

County Convention 117 

County Fair, 115, 131, 150, 154, 

188, 244, 312 

Court House 129, 130, 250, 270, 276 

Court, first term 142 

Creamery, 155, 221, 230, 245, 247, 252, 

254, 256, 262, 292, 295, 297, 314 

Cady 185, 367 

Circuit Court .217 

Coggshall 218, 392 

Coop of 1891 220 

Cowman 245, 297 

Cattle 256, 262, 307, 310 

Coursey, O. W 245, 250, 258 

Chamberlain 274, 291, 302 

Collins 283, 286, 293, 309 

Cooper 298 

Catholic Church ....307, 310, 313, 334 

Creighton 309 

Census 311, 312 

Cutler 316 

Coram 324, 332 

Civil Townships 99 

Curl 369 

Clodt . . . 374 

Christiansen ... ., 376 


Chapman 378 

Crawford 380 


De Ment, W. E '. 33 

Dean 46 

Davenport 50 

Dolton 52 

Drake 55, 56, 57, 58, 157 

Dunn 58 

Davis 68, 184, 352 

Democratic Party 120, 203, 217 

Dividing Jerauld County 131 

Dolton 154, 192 

Dusek 182 

Dunham 295, 310, 332 

Drouth 238 

Doubenmier 282, 292, 302, 320 

Dodge 282, 298 

Dougan 370 

Daleske 378 

De Forest 403 


Elmer, P. 24, 47 

England, 28, 230, 234, 267, 278, 293, 

295, 306, 307, 313, 316, 334, 352, 353 

Eastman 51, 54, 201, 224, 259 

Election precincts, 64, 73, 84, 100, 

145, 163, 202, 22s 
Elections, 65, 87, 88, 95, 134, 146, 

163, 193, 202, 204, 236, 247, 268, 

275, 304, 318, 336 

Eberhart 185 

Epworth League, 200, 235, 258, 

283, 307, 308 

Easton 274, 309 

Eastern Star 310 

Eddy 350 

Eagle 364 

Eberhart 367 

"Evening Glow, The" 447 

Ferren, H. B 27, 396 

Ferguson, J. T. 46 

Ford 61, 64, 78, 81, 176, 369 

Fisher 73, 77, 78, 144 

Friends' Church ....102, 129, 278, 320 
Farmers' Alliance, 131, 189, 198, 

205, 215, 220 

Franklin Twp 145 

Fish, Sarah 175 

Francis 176, 192, 365 

Free Methodists, 200, 236, 252, 257, 

267, 293, 320, 334 

Fauston Church 229, 273, 278 

Freeland, J. K 246 

Farmers Club 273 

Franzwa 280, 290, 301, 313, 330 

Frick 292, 301, 407 

Farrington 309, 334 

Fish in rainfall 328 


Fee 350 

Fordham 412 


Gold, in the Black Hills 8 

Grant 19, 187, 190, 211, 217, 365 

Grant, Newell 19 

Goodwin, W. W 24, 30, 243, 366 

Groub 44, 385 

Gaf fin 47 

Gray, J. 49, 78 

G. A. R., 61, 141, 142, 15s, 232, 

250, 267, 273, 307 

Gough 92 

Grain houses, no, in, 156, 189, 221, 

290, 292, 29s, 298, 314, 324 

Gordon P. 114, 308, 310 

Gunderson 132, 199 

Gun Club 157, 283, 289, 295, 300 

Groub 174 

Gregory 1 75 

Grisinger ....175, 300, 301, 306, 320 

Gingery 185 

Griggs 224 

Grade up the hills 240 

German Church, 252, 256, 263, 273, 301 

Glen Creamery 256, 301 

Good times 269 

George 274, 283, 294, 316 

Gleim 283 

Gotwals 288, 295 

German Lutherans, 301, 302, 306, 313 

Glen, P. 325, 407 

Gilbert 384 

Grieve 384 


Hain. Levi 7 

Hill, W. N 16 

Hill, C. W., 19, 20, 23, 131, 132, 

242, 244 

Hawley, H 16, 17, 20 

Hawley, B 16 

Horse thieves 14, 16, 25, 272 

Hanson County 20 

Holcolm, J. A 24 

Hudson 45 

Huntley 45, 47, 129, 132, 203 

Hazard, R. Y 47, 74, 92, 418 

Harmony Twp 47 

Herald 55. 59, 189 

Hoes & Phillips 56 

Hackett 58, 154, 295, 297 

Herring 78, 211, 212, 218 

Hewitt 91 

Hawthorne 93, 244, 332 

Harden 133, 176, 192 

Hall, Mrs. N. C 133, 230, 244 

Hot winds 147, 201, 214 

Holden I73 

Harness business 191 

Hard times 205, 218, 238 

Horse show 211 

Hull 212, 214, 223, 225 


Hill, W. N 232 

Healey 250, 258, 267, 295, 316 

Hall, A. V 314,37s 

Hyde P. 328 

Hoar 352 

Hanson 352 

Hasz 354 

Hournes 355 

Hillis 356 

Henebuth 404 

Immigrants 10, 18, 31 

Ingham 91 

I. O. O. F 127, 190, 220 

Independent party 121, 2x6 

Insanity, board of 129 

I. O. F. T 204, 215 

Jordan, J. W. P 19, 23 

Jacobs, C. S 2-j, 252, 280, 294 

Jones, Dr 33 

Jerauld County, 56, 71, 72, -J2>^ 129, 
130, 154, 203, 275, 294, 295, 304, 

305, 311, 325, 336 

Johnson Sarah 54 

Johnston 74, ■ 156 

Jail 130, 145, 264, 270 

Jenkinson 282, 291, 298 

Jenkins 298 


Kieser 48, 371 

Kinney 59, 106 

Knudtson 140 

Kneiriem School 168 

Kutil 181, 239, 301 

Kugler 183, 349 

Knieriem 187, 394 

Kitchurn 191 

Kline .214, 230 

Kint 231 

Kinsman •• 234 

Kieffer . . . . ;> 275 

Dr. Keene • • 332 

Kleppin 355, 366 

Krueger ■• 359 

Klink 372 

Kayser •• 400, 402 


Ladies Aid • • 290 

Pioneer News 290, 300 

Blacksmith 290, 300, 307 

Restaurant 290, 300, 306, 321 

Artesian well •• 290, 301, 306 

Barber shop 307 

Railroad ■ ■ 290 

Livery 300, 306, 307 

Hardware • • . . .300, z^^ 

McCurdy 300, 306, 313, 321 


Machinery 301, 306, 313 

Depot • • 301 

Dr. Martin 306, 313 

Dr. Burleigh 316 

Lutherans •• 320 

Incorporates 321 

Hotel 321 

I. O. O. F ■• 321 

School house 322, 328 

Leeds, S. T., 28, 33, 107, 224, 230, 

334. 389, 398 

Litchfield, Miss Betsey 28 

Loomis 68, 141, 190, 257, 282 

Lawton family . . • ■ 96 

Legislation Council 132, 146 

Local option 153, 162, 164 

Lyndale P. O • • 192 

Lecture Course 200, 211 

Longland 2122, 235, 388 

Literary Societies 256 

Lane . . . 288 

Labor Union • • 293 

Lane, T. W 301 

Le Valley • • 370 


McCarter, John 10, 16, 17, 366 

McDonald, C. W., 23, 30, 55, 62, 

64, 72, 74, 80, 82, 320 

Motle, Joseph 27 

Moore, S. S • • 27 

Mail routes, 11, 30, 148, 156, 214, 
254, 262, 266,. 276, 309, 310, 321, 

322, 328, 330 

Marlar Twp 44 

Marlence, S 46, 129, 130, 393 

Marshall, O. J 47, 189, 223, 266 

Monclova . . . • • 55 

Morse & La Pont 61, 214 

Melcher "jj,, 74, 93, 419, 420 

McNamara • • 91 

Mentzer 93 

McDonald, J. A • • . . 131, 244, 299 

Miles 112, 132, 244, 297 

Muskrats • • . . 135 

Milliken, 150, 190, 243, 282, 302, 

308, 320 

Masonic lodge 152 

Mathias • • 187, 230 

Marvin 183, 401 

Moss 186 

McGlasham 189